'To believe they can bounce back takes something special' - Sunil Gavaskar in awe of RCB's 'phenomenal' turnaround

"What RCB have done has been absolutely phenomenal. Nothing short of phenomenal. Firstly, to believe that they can bounce back takes something special," Gavaskar said.

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Royal Challengers Bengaluru
Royal Challengers Bengaluru. (Source -IPL/BCCI)

Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen are in awe of Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s dramatic turnaround in the Indian Premier League 2024. Faf du Plessis and Co. had the most disastrous campaign until the halfway mark in the tournament, slipping to a staggering seven losses in eight games.

However, the team scripted a redemption tale for the ages, winning one do-or-die clash after another to barge into the playoffs, a situation that seemed only a mathematical possibility after their relentless streak of defeats. Gavaskar labelled their effort as “nothing short of phenomenal”, acknowledging the self-belief and confidence the team displayed despite being battered and bruised.

"What RCB have done has been absolutely phenomenal. Nothing short of phenomenal. Firstly, to believe that they can bounce back takes something special. The leading players there, Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, and other senior players, must be the ones most encouraging to the other team members. Other team members can quickly get into a situation where they might feel we've lost everything. It's up to the seniors, and I think they have done their job. They have done it by showing them how. Faf and Virat have played extraordinary cricket,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports Cricket Live.

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Gavaskar also realised the contrasting story of Rajasthan Royals, whom RCB will be up against in another winnner-takes-it-all encounter as the two lock horns in the Eliminator at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. Until the halfway mark of the tournament, the Sanju Samson-led Royals were the team to beat as they occupied the top spot in the league table, at times even being four points clear of the second-placed teams. However, their form plunged as spectacularly as RCB’s rose in the ensuing period, as the Royals lost four games on the bounce to squander all the momentum they so laboriously built.  

“Rajasthan, on the other hand, have lost their last four or five matches, and they didn't play well in their last game. So, they've been out of practice. Now, unless they do something special like KKR did today, despite not playing for 11 days, it could turn out to be another one-sided game tomorrow. My fear is that it will be another one-sided game where RCB, who are playing just absolutely phenomenal cricket, will walk all over RR," Gavaskar added.

Gavaskar’s co-panellist and former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen shared his thoughts on the eliminator match between RCB and RR. "RCB is playing cricket as well as they've ever played. They've got themselves to a situation where momentum is all in their favour. They've got bowlers bowling well, batters batting brilliantly, and Faf du Plessis leading them as well as he's ever led a team. So, I find it very, very hard to think that Rajasthan are going to put up a fight.

Also read: IPL 2024, Eliminator: RR vs RCB Live Updates, Commentary, News, and More

“They've lost Jos Buttler, and Jos Buttler is such a big player. When you open with Yashasvi Jaiswal, and you know that he looks up to Jos so much, it is such a big loss. It's actually quite sad that the England players have had to leave this tournament and they're not here on the bigger stage. I'm sure the players would love to be playing here on the bigger stage in Ahmedabad and then off to Chennai to play the finals. This tournament deserves that, and it's just unfortunate that some of the biggest players in the world are not going to be here."

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