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Having two of the best batsmen in your side can be a double edged sword as a fellow batsman - you can relax and watch the two best batsmen at work, but on the days they don't come off, the entire pressure shifts on to the rest of the batsmen to deliver.
We've seen both instances in VIVO IPL 2018 - times when the star duo had won it for RCB together, and times when these two haven't clicked in a game and our batting effort went nowhere. But there have also been times, the home game against MI being the prime example, when the other batsmen took the onus on themselves and put in important contributions.
Let's take a look at some of the standout batting performances for us in 2018.
1. AB de Villiers' blazing 90* (39) v DD
Sweeps, slog sweeps, pulls off even the fast bowlers to the Chinnaswamy Stadium roof - AB de Villiers has done all of these more than once this season! But the first time that he did all of it, had to be special. Coming off lean games against Rajasthan and Mumbai, de Villiers was Absolutely Brilliant against Delhi! From Trent Boult to leg spinner Rahul Tewatia to former teammate Harshal Patel, nobody was spared the onslaught. The capability of the man to change gears was on full display as he scored his first 50 off 29 balls and took just 10 balls to get his next 40 runs!
2. Virat Kohli stands tall in a gutsy 92 (62) v MI
Although this effort came in a losing cause, the sheer magnitude of the guts and application that Virat Kohli showed as wickets tumbled around him, makes this innings special. The likes of Markande, McClenaghan and Krunal Pandya were bowling well but Virat made use of a good batting track and kept his head on a day when many others lost theirs. He later took Mustafizur Rahman and Jasprit Bumrah to the cleaners and in doing so, made sure that RCB get closer to MI's total. The mindfulness to keep RCB's NRR in check by staying at the crease and consolidating later on won our hearts!
3. Moeen's left-handed elegant and free flowing 65 (34) v SRH
Shikhar Dhawan gave Moeen Ali a life which stimulated him to make it count after completing a catch on the long on boundary, only for momentum to push him over it. Thereafter, he sent the ball sailing over the ropes on 5 more occasions, interspersed with 2 fours, thus taking Basil Thampi apart. Along with AB, they put together a 107 run stand and such was the ease in which Moeen was hitting the ball that even de Villiers took a backseat and let Moeen's bat do the and talking!
4. Manan Vohra assaults spin in his 45 (31) v MI
Quinton de Kock and Parthiv Patel's half centuries versus CSK were close contenders but none had the same impact as Manan Vohra's innings on May Day, when he took an instant liking to the bowling of JP Duminy. Even on a slow Chinnaswamy surface, Manan showed Rohit Sharma why giving a 2nd over to Duminy in the powerplay was a mistake as he used the sweep and inside out shot over covers to great effect! His start was absolutely crucial to RCB's chances. Mitchell McClenaghan wasn't let off either, with the stylish Punjab opener even bringing up 1000 VIVO IPL runs in the game, becoming the first uncapped player to do so!
5. Colin de Grandhomme heaves it brutally to bring up 40 (17) v SRH
RCB were in danger of reaching a below par total in our last home game after de Villiers and Moeen were dismissed in quick succession. On a night when Basil Thampi wasn't spared the blushes, CdG only went forward and deepened the gash in Thampi's wounds as he struck him for two sixes, and one each of Siddarth Kaul and Shakib al Hasan to take RCB past 200 mark. He survived drop catches from his compatriot and New Zealand skipper Williamson and Rashid Khan but the Afghan spinner atoned for his error by taking a stunning one handed catch! Looking at RCB's victory margin in hindsight, Colin's innings might have even proven to be the difference between the two sides.