Express News Service
BENGALURU: In the first half of IPL 2021, KS Bharat was primarily a bench warmer, waiting for his opportunity to showcase his skills. But, it never came. Few months down the line, the Andhra man has been a regular feature in the Royal Challengers Bangalore batting department and he has been decent. The 28-year-old reserved his best for the last group game against Delhi Capitals, scoring an unbeaten 78, including a match-winning last ball six. That innings alone has been worth his base price of Rs 20 lakhs, the amount Bangalore paid to sign him at the last auction.
The likes of Rajat Patidar (71 runs, 4 matches) and Sachin Baby (1 run, 1 game) were given a chance in the India leg, but they did not grab the opportunities, something Bharat did. His inclusion has also meant freeing AB de Villiers from the wicket-keeping responsibility. With Bharat being asked to bat at number three in the majority of the matches, he has been flexible with his approach and built some good partnerships in crunch situations.
“There’s nothing like I have to create a platform for someone. We as a team play and we as a team get partnerships. So we always focus on getting those mini partnerships. It can be AB (de Villiers), or KS, or Virat (Kohli) bhai, anyone in the team getting those boundaries. We all are built to win games. It is not just one or two individuals here to finish the games,” said Bharat, who has amassed 182 runs in six innings at an average of 45 and a strike rate of 130.
Bharat, who made his IPL debut this season, has been a part of the squad which has played consistent cricket in all departments to reach the play-offs. If they play such kind of cricket, Bangalore may finally break their IPL trophy duck and a perfect gift for Kohli, who is captaining the franchise for the last time.”Yes, definitely winning the cup and giving Virat bhai that IPL title will be cherry on the cake, but if you ask me, playing with Virat bhai is a very big feeling. Virat loves youngsters, he encourages youngsters…,” said Bharat, who will be eager to shine against Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator on Monday.