Virat Kohli stated that the fearlessness and confidence have reaped rich rewards for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2021, after they eased past the Rajasthan Royals in Dubai on Wednesday. RCB registered a convincing seven-wicket win with 2.5 overs remaining, to make it seven wins out of 11.
After Evin Lewis (58) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (31) got RR off to a flyer, the team collapsed from 100/1 to 127/6, to eventually finish at 149/9 after 20 overs. Shahbaz Ahmed (2/10) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/18) were the wreckers in chief, before Harshal Patel (3/34) did the damage in the last over.
RCB, in reply, eased to the target in 17.1 overs with seven wickets remaining, with each of their top four playing their part. Skipper Virat Kohli couldn’t be more pleased.
"We have come back strongly in two games back-to-back with the ball which is a great sign,” Kohli said after the game. “We know if you can hold your nerve with the ball you're going in the right direction. In both games the opponents were 56/0 in the powerplay, but in both games we took wickets to ensure the opposition did not get away.
“We knew that with the kind of bowling attack we have, things can open up when we take wickets.
“As batters you can't take too many risks when you're searching for two points too, so we went to look for mistakes from their batters. Lewis hit a few sixes and it was courageous from Garton and the others.
"We've got the rewards because we've been fearless and confident in the moments that the game can go either way. Couple of important things are clicking: middle-overs bowling is one. If you take wickets you can change the game. And batting also, we've got a few good opening starts. Devdutt and I have focused on giving the team good starts so that the middle-order with AB, Bharat and Maxwell can make more. Boys have stepped up, so that's been key for us."
Yuzvendra Chahal, who was introduced as late as the 11th over of the innings, picked up key wickets of Mahipal Lomror and Liam Livingstone to dent Rajasthan Royals’ progress. Chahal conceded that the move to come in late was due to the match-ups and was pleased overall to have rediscovered his best after a disappointing first half of the tournament in India.
“(On starting spell late) Two left-handers were batting, so Virat said let's go with the medium pacer,” Chahal said as he received his Man of the Match award. “He told me I will come when Lewis gets out, but I came on since Lewis was still going good. (Bowling style) I wanted them to play over covers since it's wider there. Wanted to also blow slower.
“In the first half of the IPL, I didn't bowl well in 3-4 games. Then I spoke to players and family on what I'm doing wrong. And then I regained confidence in Sri Lanka. Confidence is key in bowling, so I am using that here."
RCB will take on Punjab Kings next, in Sharjah on Sunday, October 3.