Kolkata v Bangalore, IPL 2013, Ranchi May 13, 2013

Ranchi pitch proved tough task, say Kallis and Kartik

ESPNcricinfo staff

As Ranchi debuted as an IPL venue on Sunday, hosting a low-scoring game in which Kolkata Knight Riders got the better of the daunting Royal Challengers Bangalore batting line-up to register a five-wicket win, it was the pitch that was in the spotlight the most. Royal Challengers managed just 115 for 9, but their left-arm spinner Murali Kartik said his batsmen ended just about 10 short of a defendable total given the conditions. Knight Riders allrounder Jacques Kallis also said batting was difficult on the pitch, which "wasn't ideal for T20 cricket".

"It looked a bit greenish from far but was slightly on the slowish side and double-paced more than anything else," Kartik said after the match. "Sometimes you never know what is the best total on this kind of surface. I thought possibly 10 more runs would have been a fighting total. One-twenty-five was what we were looking at."

Knight Riders could never really get going in the chase either, and edged home with just four balls to spare. Kallis, who was named Man of the Match for his 41 off 45 balls and 2 for 17, said: "Probably [a target of] 130-135 would have been tough. It wasn't an ideal wicket for T20 cricket. But those were the conditions given and I think we played better under the conditions than RCB."

Kartik and Kallis were involved in a bit of an exchange over how much the batsmen were backing up; Kartik warned Manoj Tiwary and Kallis about backing up too much in the 16th over of the chase, but ball after ball they kept inching forward until things got a bit heated and the umpire had to intervene.

Talking about the incident, Kartik said: "Look, at the end of the day when we [bowlers] miss even by a fraction of a line, it's called a no-ball. When the lines are the same and the margins are the same, you can't be stealing a yard or two. I don't think such things are acceptable. I don't know how people accept it, I can't accept it. When I am supposed to be within the line when I deliver, the batsmen are supposed to be within the crease. And again, the margins there are minimal when you look at direct hits and stuff."

The loss leaves Royal Challengers with 16 points in 14 games, behind Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians on the points table. They have two matches to go, and it could be a close-run thing whether they make the playoffs even if they win both their remaining games. However both these games will be at home and, despite their ordinary record on the road, Royal Challengers are yet to lose at the Chinnaswamy Stadium this season.

"It's going to be a must-win situation for us now I guess," Kartik said. "And since no one else is going to do us any favours, we need to take care of ourselves. But we are still in a good position, we are still among the top four and hopefully [will register] a couple of wins at home."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sharad on May 13, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    @Sreedhar: When the ball is in play i.e., when the bowler starts to run in, both the players from the batting team are supposed to be - either physically or holding a bat which is - within the crease at both ends. Kartik has a perfectly valid point. When run-outs are judged by inches, it is totally unjustified for anyone to take a start let alone after being warned. The people that have made it 'acceptable' have done so by hiding behind the 'Spirit of the game' phrase while clearly cheating the extra yard or two. Sorry, your argument doesn't hold.

  • Kasinathan on May 13, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Murali is right. I feel he should have "Mancaded" Tiwary or Kallisl in that case KKR would have called hima CHEAT and "Fair Play" would have come to question. Now Stealing a yard or two makes the batsmen to convert ones into twos and make life difficult for the fielders. Only if somebody does a "Mankad" batsmen will realize. Start it from you Murali. IT IS LEGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Kashinath

  • K V M Vamsi on May 13, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    I don't care what Murali Kathik says, KKR were better side in this game with bat. RCB should have batted little more sensible and put up a total which they can defend. Their batting heavily depends on Gayle, De Villiers, Kohali and Pujara, if they fail then they will struggle to put a decent total on score board. Anyhow the next two matches is must win situation for RCB and SRH. Any teams stop winning then they are out of the tournament.

  • GAURAV on May 13, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Kallis is not great. Why compalining about a pitch. Show that you can play on it.

  • Abhishek on May 13, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    Yes- but backing up too far is also unacceptable. You must not abuse a convenience accorded to you- lest it will be taken away. As spectators- a lot more 'mankading' will be exciting and interesting to see!

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Let Kartik keep within his line and worry about being no balled. Taking a start is an accepted practice by any batsman in any form of cricket. It is of no concern to the bowler if the batsman takes a start. That is why a field is placed to prevent it. Otherwise I would like to remind him of Bill O'Reilly's statement that the batsmen were not so keen on going to the other end to face him. You need to perform not argue.

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