Jos Buttler smashed a record-equalling fourth century of the tournament as Rajasthan Royals dashed Royal Challengers Bangalore’s hopes of inching closer to maiden IPL crown on Friday. Chasing 158 for victory at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, Rajasthan rode on Buttler, who equalled Virat Kohli’s record of four tons in an IPL season. His 106 not out came from 60 balls and included 10 fours and six sixes. IPL 2022 Full Coverage

While Buttler continued his stellar form, Bangalore fans were left heartbroken. The 2016 IPL runners up were chasing the elusive title after defeating Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator. Under new skipper Faf du Plessis, Bangalore finished fourth in the league standings, thanks to Mumbai Indians defeating Delhi Capitals in their last league-stage fixture.

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The emergence of non-established players like Rajat Patidar, Shahbaz Ahmed and Mahipal Lomror were huge positives for the Bangalore side this season. The side also found a new finisher in Dinesh Karthik, while new leader Du Plessis also chipped in with notable contributions.

Bangalore may have bowed out of the 10-team competition to prolong their trophy drought, but former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar believes Du Plessis looked a better leader than Kohli, who relinquished the captaincy at the end of the 2021 IPL and the South African was assigned with the task of replacing him.

“RCB have had a slightly better season. Some good things have happened. Faf du Plessis has looked like a better leader than Virat Kohli. But more is expected of them. Having come this far, they should have won. They’ll know exactly what has gone wrong and what has prevented them from going on to win gold instead of bronze,” said the cricketer-turned-commentator during a discussion on ESPNcricinfo.

Former New Zealand leader Daniel Vettori was also effusive in praise for Du Plessis, saying the Bangalore opener should continue leading the side moving forward.

“A lot of credit around the bowling unit has to go to Faf. That’s where we see the captaincy at its best. More often than not, he got it right. He started the season well with the bat but, like a lot of other players, he too had a split season. Still, he’s the right option to continue as captain according to me,” said the former Bangalore skipper.

Vettori also spoke about Mohammed Siraj’s bowling display in the tournament. The Indian pacer could not find much success this season, getting only 9 wickets this season at an average of 57.11 and a poor economy of 10.07.

“There were expectations around Siraj. Him going at almost 10 for the season is something that we never anticipated. He could have been a difference-maker if he had bowled like he did last season,” Vettori further said.

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