The second match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 on Thursday was a nail-biting one with the Mumbai Indians (MI) falling just two runs short of chasing down Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) total of 156. Virat Kohli's boys held their nerve and won the match, but they have one thing to worry about - their overreliance on Chris Gayle.
The King of Good Times, Dr. Vijay Mallya, the owner of RCB, looked ecstatic after the win which came after numerous losses to MI at their home ground in the past. He was all praise for new RCB captain Kohli and Gayle, whose score of 92 off 58 balls, helped the team put up a decent total, which eventually proved to be just enough, with Mumbai falling two runs short.
Kohli, who was looking visibly happy after the win, said his team do not mind relying too much on the West Indian swashbuckling batsman.
A closer look at RCB's performance in Thursday's match and some of its matches in the earlier IPL seasons shows the team has something to worry about even as they bask in the glory of their opening victory. The scoreboard against MI tells it all.
Gayle was of course the star man, scoring 92 and staying till the end despite an injury, giving RCB a decent total of 156. However, there were negligible contributions from four of its batsmen --Tillakaratne Dilshan (0), Mayank Agarwal (1), Daniel Christian (4) and Karun Nair (0). Virat Kohli (24) and Arun Karthik (19) were the only other players to reach double figures.
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians should be happy despite the defeat as all their top five batsmen - Ricky Ponting (28), Sachin Tendulkar (23), Dinesh Karthik (60), Rohit Sharma (11) and Ambati Rayudu (18) - made a decent enough contribution.
Not taking away the credit of RCB's good fielding and disciplined bowling, especially Vinay Kumar who bowled a wonderful last over, the match against MI was more a one-man show with Chris Gayle putting up a good score on the board single-handedly.
It is good for the team but at the same time a worry because of the poor performance of other batsmen.
Too much dependence on one person will do no good to the team in the long run. It could even cause panic when the wicket of Gayle falls early. RCB will be one of the teams to beat only if other batmen chip in during the rest of the season, because after all cricket is a team sport.