Ahmedabad: Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli on Friday rued that they could not execute plans and leaked too many runs against Punjab Kings in the IPL here.
Put into bat, KL Rahul (91) and Chris Gayle (46) shared 80 runs for the second wicket but Punjab were soon in a spot of bother as they were reduced to 118 for five.
However, Rahul and Harmeet Brar (25) ensured Punjab put on board a competitive 179 for five in the end.
”They got off to a good start but we pulled things back somewhat after five down. Should have been chasing 160, when they were 116/5, but we gave away 25-odd runs in the end,” Kohli said during the post-match presentation.
”Focused too much on what the batters were doing. We got away from our plans. We gave too many bad balls for boundaries,” he said.
Chasing the total, RCB found the going tough as they could score only 36 runs from the Powerplay overs. Brar (3/19) and Ravi Bishnoi (2/17) then smothered them with their spin as RCB ended at 145 for 8.
”As batsmen we could have tried different things early on. It was tough to hit through the line. It was all about trying to get a partnership and have a strike rate of more than 110. We were not able to do that as a batting unit,” said Kohli, who top-scored with 35.
”Just a few little tweaks we need to address going forward. There are areas we need to improve.” Asked why Glenn Maxwell or AB de Villiers don’t bat higher up the order, Kohli said: ”The composition of our team is such that we give him (Patidar) the freedom to play at number 3. It’s (batting order) situational, this is a good balance for our batting line up. ”Rajat is a quality player, just that tonight wasn’t his night. In the end we gave away 25 runs too many. One wicket there and we could have squeezed them. We couldn’t execute our plans.” Winning captain Rahul was effusive in his praise for 25-year-old Brar.
”We were preparing Brar. On a pitch like this, we felt like we needed a finger spinner who could hit hard lengths. He did exactly that and batted really well in the end as well,” he said. ”I am young myself, but I have been trying to speak to the boys and pass on whatever experience I have of IPL and international cricket. ”They are blessed with enormous talent and we have to prepare them for the situations and the pressures they’d face in the middle.” His 57-ball knock was the cornerstone of Punjab’s innings and Rahul said ”it was important for me to lead from the front”. ”…that’s what I try to do every game. When I have the opportunity to put pressure on bowlers and set targets, I try to do it to the best of my ability. It came off well today,” he said.
Talking about Gayle, Rahul said: ”There is a lot written about Gayle, about his age and whether he should be playing. But I know as a captain, just his impact he has when he walks out is huge.” ”I have played with him for 7-8 years and he keeps getting better and better. He is batting at three, something he hasn’t done ever in his career, but he’ll do that for the team. That is man Chris is. He takes pressure off me at the top.”