Virat Kohli feels that season for Royal Challengers Bangalore's “bizarre” season was a learning curve. Kohli and his troops displayed incredible performances last year to finish as runners-up but finished with the wooden spoon in the latest edition of the Indian Premier League.
Virat Kohli, the highest run-scorer of the ninth edition of the IPL, and the only player to score 973 runs in the history of the league had a surprisingly poor season this year. He managed to score 308 runs, in 10 innings, having missed out four matches in the tournament due to a shoulder injury he sustained earlier during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
As skipper of the Bengaluru-based franchise, the team’s performance let him down too, having won only 3 games out of 14, which left them at the foot of the table. However, he perceives the failure as nothing more than a lesson learned.
"You take a lot away from failures. That’s something I’ve always cherished," said Kohli, as reported by Cricket Australia.
"Maybe (the season) was to teach me that you need to balance things out and take a backward step in how much you can do on the field, in how much you intensity you can play with – maybe choose your phases. Those were the biggest learnings for me.”
"I was pretty fortunate that I got to experience that kind of time. “
"It teaches you a lot as a captain, it teaches you a lot composure-wise.”
Though Kohli led an injury-laden side this year, it still was one of the strongest. Considering it had a star-studded line up including the likes of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav and Kohli himself, the franchise was expected to be serious competition. However, none of their stars performed to their caliber and their dismal batting display showed them the way out of the league.
Kohli reflected on the season saying, “After the kind of season we’ve had, after a tournament like that, it teaches you about yourself as a person at a few levels. I think from the mindset point of view it made me realise you can’t possibly do everything in every game. Sometimes people might start looking at you like that but as a human being you need to understand your limitations as well and you need to take a backward step.”
Despite experimenting with different combinations in the playing XI, the team was unable to gain momentum in the tournament. Apart from Kohli's 308 runs, there were hardly any batsmen who had a good season with the willow. De Villiers and Gayle were far behind with 416 runs combined by the end of the group stage. And Shane Watson managed to muster a meagre 71 runs in seven innings and himself termed it as the "worst IPL campaign."
“It was so bizarre, everything we tried was just going against us. I’ve never experienced that in a side. Not 11, all 15 guys in the squad were in the same mindset. I’ve never seen that happen. It was quite bizarre." said the RCB skipper.
With the Champions Trophy set to begin in less than a week, the 28-year old is expected to return to his usual form and display his leadership skills as captain of the Indian team for the first time in an ICC event in order to defend the title.
Did you know, AB de Villiers hold the record for the fastest 50, 100, and 150 in One-Day International history.
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