The Indian Premier League 2023 is witnessing the one of most highly anticipated week of rivalry from May 6 to May 13 as the matches so far have lived up to their billing with Kolkata Knight Riders beating Punjab Kings in a last-ball encounter in the previous match. Fans are also getting to witness the rivalry between teams from the North and South as some of the biggest teams from the two regions are going against one another to pick up two crucial points as the business end of the tournament approaches. All teams are still within reach of the playoffs spot, making this edition one of the most closely fought contests in the 15 years of the tournament. But the rivalry week kick-started on May 6 with one of the exciting matches of IPL when CSK locked horns with MI and now the second biggest contest as Royal Challengers Bangalore take on MI at Wankhede Stadium where Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli be at loggerheads.
Two of the most prolific batters in Indian cricket in the last decade i.e. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be up against each other in this game. But both iconic batters are going through contrasting journeys in the ongoing competition. Rohit has been struggling for runs this season but Virat is in brilliant form and scoring runs prolifically. Former India cricketer Virender Sehwag reckons Rohit’s problem isn’t technical and a lot mental.
Good vibes to set the Game Day mood! __
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) May 9, 2023
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live show, Virender Sehwag said, “Rohit Sharma is not battling with the bowlers but with himself. There is a mental block. There’s no problem with his batting technique. Some confusion is going on in his mind. But the day he gets going, we will make up for all the previous matches.”
Former South Africa cricketer Imran Tahir has lauded Kohli for consistently scoring runs and termed it a result of his hard work and dedication. Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live show, Imran Tahir said, “Virat Kohli has always had the urge to score runs. You can score maximum runs in one season, two or three seasons, but if you are successful in doing this for 15 consecutive seasons, then it can be attributed to the result of your hard work and dedication. What Virat has done in the last 15 years is really commendable.”
Former Australia cricketer Aaron Finch claimed Mumbai Indians’ opening batters look confused and that they need to learn from the way CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad has batted. Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live show, Aaron Finch said, “MI’s opening combination looks confused they are taking a lot of risk. They were looking to hit all the balls. They should learn from Ruturaj Gaikwad, he remains so calm in the middle and hits the loose balls.”
RCB find themselves at the bottom half of the points table but former India cricketer S Sreesanth has backed Faf du Plessis and Co. to bounce back and regain their form. Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live, S Sreesanth said, “RCB still has many matches. This team will definitely win. You look at Delhi itself. After losing six matches, this team is now winning. RCB is already winning. I think RCB will regain its rhythm.”
Meanwhile, the match between KKR and PBKS ended in the latter’s win in a last-over thriller and it was their star duo of Andre Russell and Rinku Singh who took KKR home with the latter hitting the winning run on the last ball of the match. Former India cricketer Mohammed Kaif hailed Rinku Singh for continuously growing his stature. Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live show, Mohammed Kaif said, “Credit to Rinku for asking a player like Russell to rotate strike on the fifth ball of the delivery. An uncapped Indian player like Rinku Singh asking a finisher like Russell to come to the non-striker’s end shows the confidence this player has in his game. This for me, is a story of IPL.”
Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh meanwhile claimed Russell finding his form back is good news for KKR. Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live show, Harbhajan Singh said, “The win against PBKS will give a lot of confidence to KKR. Their star players Andre Russell and Rinku Singh finished the game for them. Russell regaining his form is big news for them.”