Anil Kumble wore a gutted look; Virat Kohli was inconsolable. The narrow loss to the Mumbai Indians had hurt the duo. While Kumble had had a bad day at office, Kohli had done all but see the Royal Challengers home.
But it took them a day to shrug off the disappointment and be at their
cricketing best in the game that mattered the most.
Understandably, they were happy at not only seeing the team through to the semis, but also having set the record straight.
“I was extremely disappointed at not having finished the game against the Mumbai Indians. I got the opportunity again and I am glad I could finish it off this time. We qualified for the semis as well. I couldn’t have asked for more,” said Kohli.
Kumble echoed the sentiment. “I was pleased that I could put my hand up at the right time. We had to apply the brakes. (Alviro) Petersen's wicket was important (on Tuesday). Personally, I was happy after a disappointing performance against the Mumbai Indians.”
Kumble had sounded rigid after the loss when he said Kohli had to bat at number six because “that’s how the team dynamics are”.
On Tuesday, he promoted Kohli up the order and the move paid off.
“We thought Kohli was in good form and it’s not easy for (Robin) Uthappa to come in one down after keeping for 20 overs,” he said.
Kohli was grateful. “My strength is to build my innings and play shots later. But if the team feels that someone else can do a better job at that position, I am happy to come down the order and play the supporting role ,” he said.
Having made it to the semis, Kumble wants his team to go all the way and bag the coveted trophy.
“It would be even better if we can finish this tournament on a real high. That would be the icing on the cake after three years of really hard effort. It would mean a lot to us and our fans,” he said.