Royal Challengers Bangalore are yet to register their first win in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) and skipper Virat Kohli admitted that they are in a “bad” shape, but is confident of turning things around going forward in the tournament. RCB’s winless streak continues as they suffered their fourth consecutive loss in this year’s IPL, but Kohli took solace from the fact that they dragged the game against Rajasthan Royals deep and also hinted at making changes in the side to get the right combination for upcoming matches.
RCB managed 158 for 4 on a difficult wicket, a target which Rajasthan chased down with one ball to spare by losing just three wickets. “The team hasn’t gone off to a good start, and these things look really bad. But we have to keep believing that we can turn things around. We played well in Mumbai and here, but we need to improve. We need to take some confidence,” Kohli said Tuesday night.
“The tournament isn’t so long, so you need to think on your feet on what the best XIs are. We will sit down and talk to see how we can balance our team and allow our players to create some match-winning performances,” he added.
Kohli said they needed a few more runs on the board against Rajasthan on Tuesday. “We were more competitive. but we were 15-20 short with the bat. I thought 160 was competitive, but with the dew factor, 15 runs more would’ve been more challenging,” he said.
The RCB fielders dropped a number of catches and Kohli said they can’t afford to commit such mistakes if they want to finish on the winning side.
Rajasthan skipper Ajinya Rahane and Steve Smith were dropped and their contributions with the bat helped the hosts win.
“It was not easy to get the boundaries in the second innings but if we make that many mistakes (dropped catches), then we will fall on the losing side. In a tournament like IPL, when you have no momentum, then these things can happen,” said Kohli.
RCB spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who grabbed the Purple Cap with his two wickets on Tuesday, was pleased with his effort so far.
“It’s a great feeling to have the highest wickets in the tournament, but we didn’t win the match. Leg-spinners have so much variations compared to other bowlers, and we can get a bit more turn even on flat wickets,” he said.
“I created a bit of doubt on the batsman’s mind. Our fourth loss in a row, but we have 10 games, and we have a chance of coming back. If we think negative, then no point playing. So we need to be positive.”
Rajasthan skipper Rahane said leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal changed the game with wickets of Kohli and AB de Villiers.
“We know his (Gopal) record against Kohli and De Villiers and it changed the game. It was a good team effort. After 3-4 overs, we thought the wicket is slow, so I thought if spinners bowl well then batsmen will have a hard time,” he said.
“(Krishnappa) Gowtham was excellent in the powerplay, and Gopal backed up after that. Relief, yes, to get points on the board. We played good cricket in the last three games, but Tuesday night was all about giving more than 100 per cent.”
Gopal, adjudged man-of-the-match for his brilliant 3/12 spell, was modest when asked about his super show. “I am fortunate and lucky to have gotten those big wickets. As a youngster getting such big names out doesn’t come every day. I was just fortunate, and the plans worked,” said the leg-spinner.
“Coming in to bowl in the seventh over, we had built a lot of pressure in the powerplay. I had come in after that, and because the batsmen were trying to score off me, I managed to get the wickets. Pretty comfortable bowling my variations, I rely on my gut feet while deciding what to bowl.”
“I really don’t know why wrist spinners do so well in T20s. But maybe it’s because we can spin the ball both ways. Overall, it’s about bowling in good areas and being disciplined.
(With PTI Inputs)