This is the second successive time they have qualified for the playoffs; RCB lost to SRH in the Eliminator last season. This season, they look a much better outfit than last year, having qualified with still two games in hand.
“Feels amazing. After 2011, we haven’t done it with games to spare. Eight wins out of 12 games is a great campaign. We have two more opportunities to finish in the top two. Should give us motivation to play even more fearlessly,” Virat Kohli said the post-match presentation.
RCB put 164 on the scoreboard. With a 68-run opening stand, Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal provided the base for Glenn Maxwell to unleash himself. The Australian registered his third consecutive fifty. The RCB skipper, though, reckons he and Padikkal can “take more risks” at the top.
“When you don’t have any wickets on the scoreboard, you can take more risks – which myself and Dev [Padikkal] have to. 15-20 runs on this ground can be crucial. We have to plug those areas. As a side, we have had an endeavour to improve, whether in losses or wins. We knew the wicket would get slower and slower,” Virat Kohli explained.
We knew we were just two wickets from coming back into the game: Virat Kohli
The 32-year-old further hailed the performance of his bowlers as they made a strong comeback after conceding early runs. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal forged a 91-run stand before spinners Shahbaz Ahmed and Yuzvendra Chahal struck, with the latter picking up a three-wicket haul.
“KL and Mayank batted really well, but we knew we were just two wickets from coming back into the game. (On the bowlers) The resurgence of Siraj, ever since he has done well in Test cricket. Harshal’s inclusion has been outstanding. Yuzi has chipped in, as has Shahbaz. Garton has come in. If the players don’t step up, then the campaign goes off track,” the RCB captain concluded.
RCB campaign is right on track with their qualification sealed, having acquired 16 points in 12 games. RCB would be vying for a spot in the top two when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.