Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli revealed that he was pleasantly surprised by the absence of dew in the second innings and asserted that bowling with a dry ball helped RCB in their quest to defend 171. A sandstorm prevented the appearance of dew and helped RCB register a 1-run win.
The outfield looking like a swimming pool in the Kolkata vs Punjab clash on Monday, owing to dew, tricked Rishabh Pant into bowling first today in Ahmedabad, but the decision backfired for Delhi as absence of dew enabled Royal Challengers Bangalore to defend 171 and go top of the table. Dew started settling in towards the fag end of the first innings, but a mid-innings sandstorm prevented dew and changed the complexion of the game.
According to RCB skipper Virat Kohli, the absence of dew made a significant difference. Kohli said that he was expecting dew, and claimed that bowling with a dry ball helped his bowlers execute their plans.
“There was no dew tonight thanks to that sandstorm, and we bowled with a dry ball, so that made a difference,” Kohli said in the post match presentation.
“At one stage I thought it was getting away, but Siraj's final over gave us confidence and we thought he would manage a professional and clinical job. If there weren't fielding lapses it wasn't going to go this far anyway. We lost wickets but AB went berserk and then in the last few overs while bowling Hetmyer got hold of a few, otherwise we were in control.”
RCB, today, utilized six bowlers and the chopping and changing of the bowlers disrupted the flow of the Capitals, who were outwitted by the Royal Challengers in terms of ‘match-ups’. Kohli was left chuffed by the number of options at his disposal, and added that having a deep bowling lineup has helped RCB immensely this season.
“Maxi is still not bowling, he's the 7th option, so we have enough options to do the job for us. We always had batting depth, but now we have a lot of bowling options too. I choose to be optimistic, but captaining for too long does make you nervous. I invariably go with the gut feel of the bowler,” Kohli said.
The night, though, undoubtedly belonged to AB de Villiers, who smashed an unbeaten 42-ball 75 on a wicket that was far from being a flat track. RCB, at one stage, looked like they would struggle to get to 150, but AB’s genius took the Reds past 170, and eventually helped them register their fifth win of the season. Kohli tipped his hat off to the South African, who today scored his second fifty of the season.
“AB doesn't like me saying this, but he hasn't played competitive cricket for 5 months, but if you look at him bat it doesn't feel like he doesn't play international cricket anymore. Hats off to him, keeps doing it again and again for us. Such an asset for us. I'll say this again (smiles). He hasn't played for five months, just watch that innings.”