Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli said that Delhi Capitals (DC) is a ‘hard side to beat’ after the Shreyas Iyer-led blanked RCB by 59 runs in an IPL encounter.
Chasing a mammoth 197 runs to win, the famed Bangalore batting line-up fell apart as it was restricted to 137/9 in 20 overs.
“DC are playing some really good cricket. Their batting is fearless. They have got pace, they have got good spinners. I won’t say they are unbeatable, but they will be hard to beat. Against this side, you have to bring your A game. We didn’t tonight,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
Pondering over the loss, Kohli, who became the first Indian to reach 9000 runs in T20 cricket, said that losing wickets at regular intervals didn’t help.
“The conversation around chasing has been to have one big partnership. With dew setting in, if you have eight wickets in hand in the last 10, the game is on even if you need 100 or more,” he said.
“The good thing is, we have won three out of five. We know we are playing good cricket. We just need to be professional in those big moments,” he added.
Kohli further rued the fact that his side’s fielding has been sloppy and that they need to take catches.
“It didn’t go our way. They got off to a great start, in the next eight we pulled them back, but the last chase got away from us. As I said, we need to grab important chances. It is not like we are dropping half chances, but sitters,” he said.
Purple Cap holder Kagiso Rabada picked a four-wicket haul and registered fabulous figures of 4-0-24-4. Rabada was once again the star performer with the ball as he accounted the wickets of Kohli, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube and Isuru Udana.
“I think it was a really good win tonight. After that win at Sharjah it gave us a lot of confidence against a team like RCB who have some really good batsmen. It also gives us massive confidence having won today. I don’t really plan to get wickets, you can only control in which areas to bowl,” he said.
Axar Patel bowled beautifully in the PowerPlay and won the Player of the Match award. – IPL
Winning skipper Iyer said that the team’s strategy was to play fearless cricket.
“Getting four out of five, I will take that any day. Kudos to the boys and the temperament shown in pressure situations. Our strategy was to be fearless and play with full freedom. We have got good youngsters in our side, so we just need to go out and execute our talent and skills.
“I am very happy with the way things are going so far, and we need to keep up the momentum. When we come on to the ground we talk about comprehensive victories,” Iyer said.
Spinner Axar Patel, who entered the match in place of AMit Mishra, who was ruled out of the tournament due to injury, bagged the Player of the Match.
Axar registered excellent figures of 4-0-18-2 accounting the key wickets of Aaron Finch and Moeen Ali.
“I knew it was stopping on the wicket and knew I would bowl in the powerplay. I had practiced for it and think I executed my plans really well,” Axar said.
“Since the wicket was slow, I wanted to bowl at the stumps and vary the pace. In the powerplay I was in a mood to defend at first, but when the third ball spun I changed gears and got into an attack mode,” he added.