IPL 2020: 'Maxwell's dropped catch of Ben Stokes led to the match slipping out of KXIP's grasp' - Aakash Chopra

Kartik Iyer
·4-min read

Maxwell dropped a tough catch of Ben Stokes in the second over of the Rajasthan Royals innings. [P/C: iplt20.com]
Maxwell dropped a tough catch of Ben Stokes in the second over of the Rajasthan Royals innings. [P/C: iplt20.com]

Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Glenn Maxwell's dropped catch of Ben Stokes could have cost the Rajasthan Royals (RR) their IPL 2020 match against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).

Chopra made this observation while reviewing the KL Rahul-led team's loss to the inaugural IPL champions, in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

Aakash Chopra pointed out that KXIP had not got off to the best of starts, with Ben Stokes pulling off a stunner to dismiss Mandeep Singh in the first over before Chris Gayle went on a blitzkrieg.

"KXIP did not get off to a good start, with Mandeep dismissed off a bouncer. What a catch Ben Stokes took diving forward! After that Gayle comes and is given a life, and then he hammers them. It was a solid hammering," said Chopra.

The reputed commentator observed that the destructive Jamaican's batting records would put mere mortals to shame.

"He made 99 and got out only in the 20th over. He has struck 1001 sixes, 14000-odd runs, has played 100 Test matches as well; he is a huge legend. This is unbelievable. If someone scores more than 6000 runs with sixes, a lot of players feel ashamed," Chopra said.

Aakash Chopra also opined that KL Rahul's knock was a tad slow in the context of the game.

"Rahul's innings was looking okay at that time, but in hindsight, you will find that he played a little slow because a 41-ball 46 was not good enough in the context of the game. He could have played a little faster," observed the former India opener.

The former KKR player opined that Kings XI Punjab were restricted to a certain extent at the end of their innings, as Maxwell was not able to provide the usual impetus, and Rahul Tewatia pulled off a brilliant catch to dismiss Nicholas Pooran.

"Maxwell - 6 balls, 6 runs. It could have been 12-15 runs off 6 balls. These are the things that add up. The catch Tewatia took of Nicholas Pooran off Stokes' bowling, that actually took about 10 runs from the total. There were a few small things that did not go in their favour, and KXIP reached a score around 180," said Chopra.

Aakash Chopra says that the KXIP bowling effort was a letdown

Ben Stokes' blazing knock took the match away from KXIP [P/C: iplt20.com]
Ben Stokes' blazing knock took the match away from KXIP [P/C: iplt20.com]

While talking about KXIP's bowling effort while defending their total, Aakash Chopra opined that Ben Stokes' let-off by Glenn Maxwell had swung the match in favour of the Rajasthan Royals.

"When Rajasthan's turn came to bat, Maxwell dropped a catch of Ben Stokes that was exactly similar to the one the latter had held earlier. That dropped catch led to the match slipping out of KXIP's grasp," observed Chopra.

Nevertheless, the 43-year pointed out that it was an all-round batting display by the Rajasthan Royals, with Robin Uthappa and Sanju Samson complementing the knock played by Stokes.

"Stokes played amazingly well, scored 50 runs off 26 balls. Robin Uthappa played some good shots. Samson came and did not look like stopping; he made 48 in double quick time," said Chopra.

The former opener also questioned Maxwell's place in the KXIP team, considering that the Australian has not done much of note with the bat and was not given the ball either in the game against the Rajasthan Royals.

"The wrist spinners were not able to bowl, as the ball had got wet. And they did not bowl Maxwell, so he is playing as a batsman. But is he really contributing as a batsman is a question they will have to ask," pondered Chopra.

Aakash Chopra signed off by concluding that KXIP will have to win their last match against the Chennai Super Kings to remain in contention for a IPL 2020 playoff spot while RR seem to have gained momentum at the right time.

"KXIP can still reach 14 points, but then it remains to be seen how the other results go. Rajasthan have woken up late but have woken up. Last match, they defeated Mumbai and now Punjab. They are on a giant-killing spree," Chopra concluded.

The trio of KXIP, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders has 12 points in their respective kitties after playing 13 games apiece. They could be joined by Sunrisers Hyderabad if David Warner and co. put it across the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

With all four teams bunched so close together, the battle for the playoff spots in IPL 2020 coud likely go right down to the wire.