After a heart-breaking Super Over loss against Delhi in their opening Indian T20 League (Indian T20 League) 2020 match, Punjab picked up their first win of the season thanks to an inspiring knock by their skipper KL Rahul.

The Punjab captain scored an unbeaten 132 to help his team beat Bangalore by 97 runs and surge to the top of the standings on the back of a superior Net Run Rate. Here are some key talking points from the contest: 

Misfiring Bangalore pacers

Bangalore’s pace battery will know that they must do much better than they have done in their first two matches if Bangalore want to go deep into the tournament. Their pace trio of Dale Steyn, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini combined for no wickets and were hit for 129 runs from 11 overs. Yadav and Steyn were expensive in Bangalore’s last match against Hyderabad as well, going for 48 from 4 overs and 33 from 3.4 overs respectively.

Steyn, who has had his fair share of harrowing experiences in the Indian T20 League, had another off day at the office against Punjab. The South African bowler was pummeled to all parts of the ground by KL Rahul and ended up conceding 57 from his four overs. It was the most runs he has ever conceded in the Indian T20 League and his previous worse return was also against the same opposition while he was in Hyderabad colours, conceding 51 runs from his four overs.

Kohli’s woes against left-armers

After being dismissed by Thangarasu Natarajan in Bangalore’s season opener, Virat Kohli fell at the hands of another left-arm pacer in Sheldon Cottrell. Kohli perished trying to pull a short ball in a fashion reminiscent to quite a few of his dismissals in the recent past. Since the 2017 edition of the Indian T20 League, eight of his 37 dismissals in the Indian T20 League have come against left-arm pacers.

Virat in Indian T20 League Since 2017          
Bowler type Runs Scored Wicket Balls Avg SR
RA pace 638 16 452 39.875 141.15
LA pacer 186 8 137 23.25 135.77
Leg spin 196 5 145 39.2 135.17
Off spin 131 4 115 32.75 113.91
LA spin 108 3 84 36 128.57
Slow left-arm chinaman 58 1 46 58 126.09

His average of 23.25 against left-armers is also the least when compared to other types of bowlers. After a slightly underwhelming Indian T20 League compared to his lofty standards last time around, Kohli will be keen to make amends, making it interesting to see how he irons out any perceived chinks in his armour that opponents may feel he has.

Punjab’s foreign batsmen need to step up

Both Punjab’s matches so far have seen domestic stars shine for the side. Skipper Rahul made 64.08 per cent of his team’s runs as Punjab posted a formidable total of 206 on the scoreboard against Bangalore. While Rahul’s unbeaten 69-ball 132 is an encouraging sign for the team, the lack of runs from their international players like Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran will be a concern.

Their opening match of the season witnessed a similar story. The only difference then was that it was Mayank Agarwal who got the runs instead of Rahul. Agarwal made 89 of Punjab’s 157 runs against Delhi in their first match, while Maxwell scored 1 and Pooran somehow inexplicably managed to get on the crease twice after being dismissed for a duck in Punjab’s reply as well as in the Super Over.

Feature image courtesy: Twitter /Indian T20 League