Royal Challengers Bangalore’s journey in the Indian Premier League 2020 ended on Friday. Facing Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL Eliminator, RCB failed to step up on the right occasion. Batting first, RCB could only manage 131 runs in 20 overs with only AB de Villiers able to get going.RCB bowlers made it difficult for the SRH batsmen but ultimately failed to defend the target.
With their season coming to an, captain Virat Kohli reflected on the performance of the RCB players. While he lavished praise on Devdutt Padikkal, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal and AB de Villiers, Kohli wasn’t happy with the contributions of the other players.
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“Couple of people have stood up, Devdutt (Padikkal) is one of them, he stepped up nicely and getting 400+ runs is not easy. He has played with a lot of class and efficiency for the team. Very happy for him.”(Mohammed) Siraj has had a good comeback. Yuzi (Chahal) has been solid as ever, AB (de Villiers) has been solid as ever. The others contributed but just not enough.”
Kohli also rued the dropped catch of Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Kane Williamson at the fag end of their IPL Eliminator, saying the match could have gone in his side’s favour had the “difficult” chance been taken.
Williamson was dropped by Devdutt Padikkal at the boundary in a difficult attempt when SRH needed 28 from 2.4 overs. The reprieve cost RCB dearly as the New Zealand captain went on to score an unbeaten 50 to help SRH chase down the modest target of 132 with two balls to spare.
“It is a game of margins and if Kane (Williamson) was taken there then it is a different ball game,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
“If you talk about the first innings I don’t think we had enough runs on the board. We made one helluva game in the second half, the positions we got ourselves into in the second half,” he added.
A batting heavy side, the RCB could only post 131 for 7 after being invited to bat and Kohli said his side just allowed SRH bowlers to bowl to the areas they wanted.
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“Altogether they put us under a lot of pressure in the first innings. Few soft dismissals, few fortunate ones for them as well and we just didn’t have enough runs on the board. Maybe a bit of nerves, maybe a bit of hesitation, we need to be more expressive with the bat. We didn’t put enough pressure on their bowlers. We didn’t have any phases in the game where we got away from the opposition.”
Kohli admitted that it has been “a strange kind of phase in the last 4-5 games” of the league phase.
“In the last 2-3 games we have hit it straight to the fielders, lot of good shots going to the fielders,” he said.
Kohli said not having home and away matches has made this IPL one of the most competitive ever.
“That also tells you the strength of the teams in the IPL, no team is run away favourites as such and every team has strong players. One of the other reasons is playing in only three venues and there’s no home and away advantage.”Similar conditions for everyone and that’s the reason this has been one of the competitive IPL this year,” he said.”It was amazing to have had this opportunity to come out and play. There’s a bigger picture going around here and we are all contributing to that. To all our fans who have supported us like every year, we just want to thank them.”
(with PTI inputs)