West Indies left-hander Chris Gayle compared Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to ‘Batman’ and ‘Superman’, after the duo lit up the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday with a dazzling display of top-quality batting to defeat Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets.
“Those two guys are playing like ‘Batman and Superman’. They are in the form of their lives, especially Kohli. They should continue pressing the gas, don’t ease up and fill their boots with as much runs as possible. They are doing a phenomenal job for RCB,” Gayle said in the post-match media conference.
With 1349 runs from 12 matches, Kohli and De Villiers seemed unstoppable and are the top-two leading run-getters of the ninth season.
Their amazing form has swung the fortunes of Royal Challengers Bangalore, who moved to fifth in the points table and kept alive their chances of making the playoffs.
Carrying forward their stellar show in Bengaluru, where they ran riot with a record 229-run partnership in their colossal 144-run win over Gujarat Lions, Kohli (75 not out) and De Villiers (59 not out) made short work of KKR’s 183/5 to romp home with eight balls to spare.
“It’s fantastic, they (Kohli and AB) are batting under pressure as well. Credit must go to both of them. Kohli leading from the front is even better. Overall, it’s a great team effort. Those guys may have contributed in all the 12 games so far. Hopefully, they can continue and put us in winning position.”
KKR’s den had transformed into Kohli’s ‘home ground’ as the packed crowd was seen chanting ‘RCB, RCB’ and Gayle said the fans want the cricketers to entertain or simply get lost.
“They love to be entertained. If you are not hitting those sixes and fours, get off the field, you know. Let us want to see some entertainment. Wickets, sixes and fours...”
Gayle however said he was not surprised to see the huge fan base at KKR’s home ground as their team was a crowd-puller.
“I’m not surprised at all. We have a huge fan base wherever we travel. They love seeing sixes and fours. So you always get support when playing in away so it actually feels being at home as well. It’s fantastic from the fans all these years.”
“I do like playing cricket here. This was once my home ground. I know the conditions well. We actually won the World Twenty20 here as well. It’s a fantastic ground, a place where you can call it a home ground to be honest. I’m happy to be among the runs today,” the former KKR batsman said.
Gayle hasn’t been among the runs this season and his scores in the five outings for RCB before Monday read a sorry 1, 0, 7, 5, 6, and was undergoing a lean phase since his 100 not out versus England in the World T20 in Mumbai exactly two months ago.
“It’s cricket. You maybe a big player but sometime you need a bit of reminder as well how good you’re. There’s always been up and down in cricket and life as well. You just try to reborn as quickly as possible.”
“We all as players know what’s required. You back someone when he’s not getting his actual performance going, and when he actually needs it as well. It’s basic stuff. You keep it simple as much as possible and play fearless cricket, keep stamping your authority which is very important as well.”
He said the pitch was a batting friendly wicket.
“It didn’t assist the spinners as much as possible. It was a good batting wicket actually. The new ball did not swing as much. There wasn’t any huge turn. It was a good wicket. 180 was always chaseable on this sort of wicket.”