Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has struggled to score runs so far in the Indian Premier League 2020. In three matches, Kohli has scores of 14, 1 and 3, making the season Kohli’s worst in terms of starts (after three matches). On Monday, against Mumbai Indians, Kohli was dismissed for three, hitting a ball from leg-spinner Rahul Chahar to his MI counterpart Rohit Sharma at covers, capping off another innings to forget for the RCB skipper.
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But while Kohli has struggled to get going in this IPL, the same cannot be said about his RCB teammate AB de Villiers. The former South Africa captain played a handsome knock of 55 off 24 balls, including four fours and sixes. Unlike Kohli, de Villiers has showed no ring rust, peeling off his second fifty in three games. In fact, prior to the IPL, de Villiers last played cricket in January, participating in the Big Bash League. Kohli, on the other hand, played in late February before going into lockdown for nearly six months.
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“I wish I was AB to be honest (chuckles). He was coming after a long break. The way he batted and some of the shots he played was outstanding. Getting stuck into the bowlers and only he can do that best. He keeps things simple and doesn’t watch a lot of cricket. Enjoys his life and comes out here, backs his ability. He’s relaxed and that’s exactly what we want from him,” Kohli said after the match.
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Kohli’s RCB edged MI in the Super Over – the second tie of the season – with Navdeep Saini first bowling a terrific over, and later, de Villiers and Kohli scoring down the eight runs needed to win. It was the perfect result required to boost the team after the hammering received at the hands of Kings XI Punjab. Kohli looked back at the match, calling it a ‘roller-coaster’, while appreciating Saini’s efforts with the ball.
“I don’t have words right now. It was such a roller-coaster game. I think they played really well and patiently in the middle. It went down to the wire, we tried to execute the things we wanted to. We’ve got a close victory and these little things on the field; we really want to focus on it. It was all about stepping onto the field and taking responsibility,” he said.
“It was a good match-up against Jasprit. Top quality cricket and games like these, people would love to watch. The changes that we made, make Washi bowl in the PP paid off. Gurkeerat didn’t get a chance to bat. The guys showed good character. Outstanding Super Over from him (Saini). He used the yorkers and wide balls to good effect. This should boost us going forward.”