Natural to see the spotlight on AB, Kohli: Mandeep

The general belief is that the Royal Challengers Bangalore are heavily reliant on the star duo of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers on the batting front. In fact, that belief isn't without proof.

This season, Kohli has collected 231 runs while de Villiers has scored 212 runs in the five games they've played so far. Both have scored two half-centuries each. Most of the others, despite getting good chances, have failed to inspire confidence. 

Last season too, Kohli and de Villiers did the bulk of the scoring despite playing just 10 and 9 games respectively. While Kohli topped the charts for RCB with 308 runs, de Villiers was third with 216 runs. Kedar Jadhav, who played 13 games, tallied 267.

In a bid to ease the pressure on Kohli and de Villiers, the franchise roped in Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum. However, both have struggled to take off while the retained Sarfaraz Khan has flopped. Only Mandeep Singh has looked good, somewhat easing the load on Kohli and de Villiers.

Mandeep, a surprise choice to address the media on Saturday night after de Villiers played a blinding 39-ball to pulverise Delhi Daredevils, felt the focus justifiably will be on the two and the rest of the team are looking at making vital small contributions.

"When you have two of the world’s best batsmen, it becomes natural that the others are taken lightly," said Mandeep. "Those two are so good that the focus inevitably falls on them. Our batting side is alright, it’s not heavily dependent on them. Obviously, when you’re talking about the batting with the world’s best batsmen, you’re going to look at them only and that they will win more matches for us.

"The rest of us are looking at making small contributions whenever we get a chance and win a match."

Mandeep also felt the youngsters shouldn't get deceived by the exploits of de Villiers and Kohli, who can make batting ridiculously easy. "I think it’s important to stay in the situation and read the situation, what’s happening in the game. If you see, the game we won against Kings XI Punjab, I was batting with him (de Villiers). I had the temptation to go for the big shot but I made my mind very clear that if we stay for another three-four overs, the game will be ours.

"So I decided that I’m not going to try some stupid shot and get out. We just needed to build a partnership and we would win the game. I think it all depends on the situation and what’s the scenario of the game."

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