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As it turned out, RCB lost a wicket off the second ball of the 19th over and in came the man with the highest strike rate (200) of anybody in IPL 2022 (min 24 balls faced). Karthik smashed an unbeaten 30 off only eight deliveries to lift the total up to 192 for 3
"If he keeps hitting sixes like that, everyone always wants to get him in and bat for as long as possible. But he's just so clear. I mean, to be honest with you, I was actually trying to get out because I was so tired to get DK in and we were even contemplating, you know, myself retiring," du Plessis, who made 73 off 50, said with that last word in air quotes.
Harsha Bhogle who was conducting the post-match presentation double-checked. "Retiring out?"
"Retiring out, yes," du Plessis replied, "But then we lost that wicket. Yeah, DK is in such good form. But it was a tricky wicket. It wasn't one of those wickets where you could just come in - I think it was not evident with DK but with other guys, the first few balls, they struggled. And then lucky for us, I think there was a dropped catch off DK in that one over and then he took them apart."
Last month, R Ashwin and Rajasthan Royals produced the first ever instance of an IPL batter retiring out as a purely tactical move, which gave Riyan Parag the chance to go in and hit some sixes. But that was a lower-order player, not renowned for his power-hitting, making way for a more recognised finisher. This - had it happened - may well have been even bigger because a specialist batter, with more than fifty runs to his name, would have quit his innings.
du Plessis was effusive with his praise for the other players in the RCB set-up as well. "There's some fantastic young Indian batters within our set up. Even someone like Suyash [Prabhudessai] who played three games and probably didn't go the way he would have liked to, there's some real talent there. And Rajat [Patidar] comes in and just plays with that freedom. Real cool calm composure about him and those are always really good traits for a youngster to have. And also Mahipal [Lomror] is also another young guy coming into the team. We're very lucky that we have some real good Indian batting talent.
"Really happy for Wani," du Plessis said. "I think personally he was looking for that one match where he blows right through the batting line-up. He's been threatening to do that right throughout the campaign. So very happy that tonight was that night. He's obviously one of those special bowlers, if you're not picking him, and especially when you get to the lower-order batters, he can run through them quickly."