Despite regular losses, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) dressing room atmosphere remained quite good because of the team's two senior pros in skipper Virat Kohli and veteran batsman AB de Villiers, said batsman Gurkeerat Singh Mann whose 48-ball 65 helped RCB win its last encounter of the season on Saturday (May 4) against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
"I just know this thing that the whole atmosphere of the team is brilliant and AB and Virat bhai whenever they get a chance they talk to the youngsters and motivate them and give them a certain role and then it is up to the youngster to prove good on their word," Gurkeerat told reporters after the match.
"I’m feeling very good, it was high time we did something for the crowd at least. I’m happy I stitched a partnership and even though I couldn’t take the team through till the end, I’m happy that I batted well and the crowd had something to cheer about."
Bowling first, RCB restricted SRH to a total of 175/7 in 20 overs, before it found itself struggling at 20/3 in the run-chase. This is when Gurkeerat stitched together a valiant fourth-wicket partnership of 144 runs with "Player-of-the-Match" Shimron Hetmyer, who made 75 off 47 balls.
"I think that was the plan, you know I had to anchor the innings and that's what we were focusing on. I thought whenever I get a ball I will try and hit a boundary but I will not take many risks," he added.
"We also had Colin De Grandhomme come at the end of the innings so we knew that we can take them down but fortunately we (Mann and Shimron Hetmyer) had a good partnership and we went along."
Gurkeerat also said having plenty of overs left after three quick wickets allowed him to take his time and build the innings forward with Hetmyer. "I think whenever you go into bat you have to prove yourself and do well for the team and fortunately for me I had a lot of overs left so I could build my innings. I was just feeling confident."
"Whenever you play with a player like Hetmyer you don’t need to do anything. So I just wanted to rotate the strike and give it to him as much as possible."
RCB eventually won the game six wickets down in 19.2 overs to end its season with 11 points in the table, including five wins, eight defeats and a no-result.
"Usually what happens to the middle-order batsman is that you don't get lot of balls to play and you just have to hit out in the last three or four overs when you get the strike. So, I was fortunate that I went into bat in the third over so I had a lot of time on my hands," Gurkeerat concluded.
(Inputs from CricketNext)