Chris Gayle is the most prized property of IPL, but watch out for Kohli as well: Shastri

A win over Pune Warriors on Friday would bring Royal Challengers Bangalore closer to their goal, writes Ravi Shastri in his column in The Times Of India, adding that the swagger is back with Bangalore. “There might be a thousand storms lying beneath a laconic Chris Gayle but life is now visible elsewhere too. The ease of their win against Mumbai Indians ought to put the steel in their back. And watch out for Virat,” writes Shastri.

“Bangalore would be heartened by how their bowlers responded against Mumbai. Vinay Kumar’s two early strikes were worth its weight in gold. Mumbai, which has largely relied on its first three bats to raise scores in this IPL, were always clutching at straws from then on. Vinay’s final figures bear little resemblance to the pivotal role he played in the contest. No less decisive was Zaheer Khan. Virat Kohli, too, finally showed up. There were a lot many putting up their hands for Bangalore on Wednesday night. Gayle of course was just being Gayle. He is the most prized property of IPL,” adds Shastri.

Meahwhile Hindustan Times writes that though Chris Gayle stole the limelight with yet another breathtaking knock against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday night, the fact that Kohli found his silken touch with the willow would have come as a huge relief for the man and his teammates.

“With the likes of Gayle and AB de Villiers coming good more often than not, the RCB think-tank wouldn’t have been too concerned by Kohli’s lack of big, and quick, runs. But he showed on Wednesday that he indeed had reinvented the balance of anchoring the innings and finding gaps at will against a quality bowling attack,” says the HT report.

“I wasn't playing too well in the previous matches. My teammates kept on telling me that you will hit form at the right time,” said Kohli, after he led the RCB to a convincing victory at the Wankhede. “I hope I can continue with this form. I think we are peaking at the right time.”

Speaking of the Mumbai Indians match against Bangalore, Mark Waugh writes in The Hindu that RCB did not allow its opponent any leg room. “Once Mumbai Indians had lost those two early wickets, especially that of Rohit Sharma, it was always in a catch-up mode. Of course, those quickfire 20s from Rayudu, Pollard and Harbhajan helped the team down the order, but the target of 141 was never going to be a challenging one on that track,” writes Waugh, adding that especially not when you have an in-form Chris Gayle at the top of the innings as your opponent.

“Dilshan's early departure did not bother Gayle too much, who has got into this amazing and unique style of batting — patting down deliveries in the first few overs without attempting too many fancy shots before launching himself in one of the latter overs to announce his arrival.It was Pragyan Ojha's turn to bear the brunt of his punishment this time, but it must be said the bowler did not help his own cause by bowling a poor half over. The three successive sixes extinguished any hopes Mumbai would have entertained at the halfway stage,” adds Waugh.