RCB director of cricket and head coach Mike Hesson has said that Virat Kohli's decision to step down as team' captain after the IPL 2021 did not affect the performance of players versus KKR on Monday. Electing to bat first, RCB were bundled out for 92 losing the match by 9 wickets in Abu Dhabi .
Hesson added that the decision was announced ahead of RCB's first match of the UAE leg to avoid any form of distraction. He expressed confidence that RCB would bounce back soon to quailify for the play-offs.
"I think it was actually to get any form of distraction out early. We talked about making that announcement as soon as possible really, all the players were aware of it. It has not impacted performance against KKR, we were not sharp with the bat, we lost wickets. But I am confident that this group will turn around pretty quickly," Hesson said during a virtual post-match press conference.
"The team combination was not the problem today. To be fair, we probably got the toss wrong. It was not a 93-run wicket, we should have been able to get to 150. Whether that would have been enough or not, it is debatable because the ball started to slide down, but we were not sharp enough with the bat," Hesson added.
AB de Villiers is an important player for us: Hesson
KS Bharat donned the gloves for the RCB on Monday and the decision according to Hesson was made to "look after the" South African star. For the same reason Rajat Patidar was not included in the playing eleven.
"AB de Villiers did not have the gloves, we have to look after him. He is an important player for us, he is not one we can risk behind the stumps so that was unfortunate for Rajat as we needed a keeper-bat to do the role for us at number three. To be fair, KS Bharat has been outstanding in the camp and he deserves his inclusion," he further said.
"We were pretty clear in terms of Virat batting at the top, it is a lot harder to start against spin. We are very happy with Devdutt Padikkal and Virat opening the batting for us, high-quality players, left-right combination and KS Bharat can bat anywhere. We were forced for that change with AB de Villiers not keeping," Hesson signed off.