Royal Challengers Bangalore Captain Virat Kohli Qualifying for the IPL play-offs is a “wonderful feeling” on Sunday and said they now aim to finish in the top two of the standings.
RCB beat Punjab Kings by six runs to make it to the second consecutive IPL play-off.
“Feels amazing. After 2011, we haven’t done it with an extra game. Eight wins from 12 matches is a great campaign. We have two more chances to make the top two. We need to play even more fearlessly. Must inspire,” Kohli said after the match.
“When you don’t have any wickets on the scoreboard, you can take more risks. Which I and Dev (Padikkal) have to do.”
The Indian captain, however, said that there is still room for improvement in RCB.
He said, ’15-20 runs can be important at this ground. We have to plug those areas. As a side, we have tried to improve whether we win or lose.
“We knew the wicket would get slower and slower. KL (Rahul) and Mayank (Agarwal) batted really well but we knew we were just two wickets away from getting back in the game.
Talking about the performance of his bowlers, Kohli said, “The revival of (Mohammed) Siraj, ever since he has done well in Test cricket. Harshal’s (Patel) inclusion has been excellent.
“Uzi (Yuzvendra ChahaliAs Shahbaz (Nadeem), is trapped in. Garten has arrived. If the players don’t make a move, the campaign is derailed. “
player of the match Glen MaxwellThe batsman, who scored 57 off 33 balls, said that he has been batting well in the IPL for the last two years.
“Right time to bat came. Lucky to hit the first couple of risks from the middle. To set it up by the openers today gave us some time to get an idea of the wicket.
“Coming to RCB, they wanted me to do exactly the same role (as with Australia). Adjusting it (Sharjah) is probably the most difficult. Spinners skid it which means you have to be quick at the start of your innings. “
Punjab Kings captain Rahul said that he would have been happier if his team had qualified for the playoffs instead of wearing the orange cap.
“I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy wearing it (the orange cap), but I would have been happy if we had qualified. It was a score that was equal. Maybe 10-15 runs extra.
When a player like Maxwell comes into this kind of form, it becomes difficult.
He said the batting has let the team down and that he would accept responsibility for the team’s failure as captain.
“Right off the bat, the last few years have been disappointing. Our batting has let us down. I would be lying if I said that it is not in my mind that I play the role that the team demands. It is not something that I enjoy, but when you lead the team, you have to accept the responsibility,” said Rahul.
“The top two or three in T20 score the most runs. You won’t have people scoring 500-600 runs in the middle order. But we have missed someone in the middle who scores 30-40 quick runs.”