Royal Challengers Bangalore moved up to second place in the Indian Premier League with their fifth win in seven matches on Tuesday and skipper Faf du Plessis said they can get even better with a little more contribution from the top order.
Bangalore have made it to three IPL finals without ever lifting the trophy but are mounting a strong campaign for a maiden title under new captain du Plessis.
The former South Africa skipper led by example on Tuesday with his 96 off 64 balls setting up an 18-run victory against Lucknow Super Giants.
With no clear front runner, du Plessis expected the playoff race to only get hotter and said Bangalore could not afford to relax.
“It’s going to be a scramble towards the end,” the 37-year-old said after collecting the man-of-the-match trophy.
“We need to make sure we improve in every game that we play, and I feel like we are doing that.
“And I still feel that we can get better.”
Dinesh Karthik (DK) and Shahbaz Ahmed have excelled in the middle order but du Plessis said one of their top four batsmen must carry on until the final overs.
“The game of Twenty20 has changed a lot but that has not changed,” the opener said.
“As long as one guy bats through and anchors the innings, we have not done that consistently.
“Luckily we have DK in the form of his life and Shahbaz in amazing form, that saved us a little bit …”
Du Plessis, Bangalore’s leading scorer this season, fell short of his maiden IPL hundred once again but did not expect to wait too much longer.
“I feel it is around the corner,” he said.
“I was hungry for some runs. I wanted to make a big impact because the last few games had been quiet for me. I went through my own process and blueprint for scoring runs.”
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