The Australians have made a big impact this IPL through their on-field performances and leadership skills. Glenn Maxwell has taken IPL batsmanship to new levels with his consistency. George Bailey and Shane Watson have stood in terms of their captaincy for Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals, respectively.
On Thursday, when Watson sat down against Delhi Daredevils here at Motera Stadium due to a niggle, another Aussie, Steve Smith, filled in his shoes.
But Smith held himself back and did not have to come out to bat. No, that is not the point. The point is, he sent West Indies medium-pacer Kevon Cooper at No. 3 for some pinch hitting, and the result was there for all to see. Cooper’s 16-ball 32 (2x4, 3x6) took everyone including the Daredevils by surprise. Cooper apart, some technically correct batting skills by opener Ajinkya Rahane (64, 50b, 8x4, 1x6) and the stylish Sanju Samson (40m, 25b, 2x4, 3x6) helped the hosts post a commanding 201/6.
And as has been the case this season, Daredevils were never up for the challenge despite captain Kevin Pietersen moving up to open the innings. Pietersen helplessly watched his top three batsmen including Dinesh Karthik and JP Duminy crumble as Daredevils could only manage 139/9.
RR WON BY 62 RUNS