Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli felt that his side were 15 runs short and a had couple of bad overs with the ball, which cost them the Eliminator against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday in Sharjah.
RCB managed 138 with the bat, which KKR chased down with 4 wickets in hand and 2 balls to spare. RCB had got off to a good start with the bat, with the openers putting up a 49-run stand.
However, after losing Devdutt Padikkal, the boundaries dried up, before Sunil Narine rattled RCB with a four-wicket haul. Narine would further hurt them with the bat, smashing Dan Christian for three sixes in an over.
Virat Kohli was effusive in praise for the KKR spinners who tied RCB’s run-scoring, while also lamented the overs when RCB’s bowling let it loose, although they managed to keep the game alive till the last over.
“I think those middle overs where their spinners dominated the game was the difference. They kept bowling in tight areas and kept picking wickets. We had a great start and it was about quality bowling and not bad batting. They thoroughly deserve to win this one and be in the next round,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
“The fight till the end with the ball has been the hallmark of our team. That one big over (22 runs) in the middle deflated our chances. We fought till the last over and made an amazing game out of it. 15 runs less with the bat and a couple of big overs with the ball cost us. Sunil Narine has always been a quality bowler and today he once again showed it. Shakib, Varun and him created pressure and didn’t allow our batsmen to get away in the middle,” he added.
I don’t see myself playing anywhere else: Virat Kohli
This loss for RCB also ended Virat Kohli’s captaincy career at the franchise. The 32-year-old led in 140 matches, winning 66 while losing 70, 4 no results. RCB’s best under Kohli came in 2016, when they reached the final but lost to SRH.
The right-hander, though, confirmed that he will continue his association with the franchise as a batsman, and would retire from IPL as an RCB player only.
[On him leaving captaincy at RCB] I have tried my best to create a culture here where youngsters could come in and play with freedom and belief. It is something I have done with India as well. I have given my best. I don’t know how the response has been, but I have given 120% to this franchise every time, which is something I will now do as a player. It is a great time to regroup and restructure for the next three years with people who will take this ahead.
[On him staying with RCB] Yes definitely, I don’t see myself playing anywhere else. Loyalty matters more to me than worldly pleasures. I would be in the RCB till the last day I play in the IPL,” Kohli concluded.
RCB have crashed out of the tournament and their maiden title dream continues. KKR, on the other hand, are on a dream run in the UAE leg this season. They next will meet Delhi Capitals on Wednesday for Qualifier 2 in Sharjah. The winner of that game books a place with CSK in the final.