After Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 19-run defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday (April 15), Virat Kohli conceded that it was simply a case of misjudging how the team’s home pitch would behave.
Following the trend of the ongoing IPL season, RCB skipper Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first. However, Sanju Samson’s tornado (92 runs off 45 balls) proved to be too much for the star-studded RCB batting line-up as they were left to chase down 218 to win the contest.
Addressing the media after the match, Virat said: “Maybe it is just a coincidence, maybe teams have good bowling attacks, so they feel they can restrict teams and have a decent score to chase down.”
“Our thinking was looking at how the pitch was. It surprised all of us. We thought it was going to be slower than how it played. The ball came nicely on to the bat. First innings, it kept coming on nicely even when the ball got old. We thought it wasn’t going to be a 200-plus wicket at any stage.”
“That is T20 cricket, it can go either way, 200? But 220 proved a little too much in the end. That is why they say one ball at a time is very crucial. Though you are hit for runs, you need to make a comeback and contain some runs. Credit to Rajasthan, they played very well,” he further added.
While chasing the target, RCB suffered a major blow upfront by losing the swashbuckling Brendon McCullum for just 4. Although Kohli (57 runs off 30 balls) along with Quinton de Kock (26 runs off 19 balls) added a 77-run stand for the second wicket, no other RCB batsman managed to stamp his authority on the match except for Mandeep Singh, who scored 25-ball 47 at the fag end of the innings. Shreyas Gopal was the pick of the bowlers for Rajasthan Royals as he removed both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to restrict RCB to 198/6 in 20 overs.
“When you concede 200 it is tough, we got 200 (198/6) as well. On hindsight we have to sit down and see whether we could have been more composed when they were going really well and try and have 10-15 less. That would have given us a little more confidence,” Virat asserted.
“There is not much you can do when opposition batsmen are in that kind of a flow. They executed their shots and plans well. We have to accept it. Today was just an off-day for everyone. You can’t sit here and think just because you have picked him in the auction he will give 24 off 4 every game and pick you two-three wickets,” he said when asked whether Woakes has struggled. It was a big, big batting day. I don’t think the bowlers need to be too harsh on themselves,” he explained.
The RCB skipper also highlighted the rationale as to why the IPL franchises have bought a number of English players during the IPL auction or as injury replacements.
“It is because of how they play their T20 cricket in the last couple of years. Right from the T20 World Cup they have been a very explosive T20 side. People are sharpening their skills according to formats and these are some of the best T20 players in the world and that is why you get picked in the IPL,” Kohli concluded.
RCB will now play their next match against the defending champions – Mumbai Indians on Tuesday (April 17) at the Wankhede Stadium.