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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Cricket

Finishing woes a worry for Virat
Sahan Bidappa , Hindustan Times
Bangalore, April 18, 2013
First Published: 00:14 IST(18/4/2013)
Last Updated: 00:16 IST(18/4/2013)

Six matches and four of those have gone into the last over. What’s more, the fate of two had to be decided in the Super Over. The Royal Challengers Bangalore know how to rev up excitement levels in the T20 league.

Thankfully for them, despite repeated slip-ups, they have won four matches and were on top of the table till Wednesday night. It could have been worse though, and skipper Virat Kohli acknowledged that.

After a fortnight of tense moments, Kohli said, at 24, he did not want to have grey hairs. “I already have a few now,” he added with a wry smile. But as he reflected, Kohli was angry with himself. 

Forced to super over
A match that should have been won hands down against the Delhi Daredevils, with Kohli going out all guns blazing, was forced into the Super Over. From 129/2, they slipped to 136/7 before Ravi Rampaul saved the ignominy, taking the game into the one-over Eliminator. They eventually won by four runs but not before going through some awkward moments. “I would have been really angry had we lost,” said Kohli. RCB have made a habit of imploding from easy positions, a pattern they have carried forward from the last season.

They also have relied too heavily on Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Kohli himself. Once the trio is gone, like they did against the Daredevils, they are a team of individuals with self doubt.

“To be honest, we were not defeated in this tournament till now. We lost (a couple of games) because of our mistakes. I’m really happy with the way we won the Super Over but we didn’t deserve to be in that position. We lacked common sense in the death overs. We need to pull up our socks if we're looking to go all the way in this tournament because it’s going to get tougher from here,” said Kohli.

The right-handed batsman is showing how it is done for his team. In six innings so far, Kohli has aggregated 321 runs, a giant leap from his last year’s performance. So much so, he has tightened his grip over the Orange Cap.

“Last year, I was coming off a very good season in Australia and the Asia Cup. So I thought I could come in to the IPL and smash from ball one. I didn’t concentrate on the basics and I got frustrated after five-six games,” he said.

“But I have changed my thinking. I told myself that I am not a machine and I can’t score runs every game. All I can do is be calm at the crease and back myself to win games for my team. I feel that if I have made 40 off 40 balls, I can still make 30 from 10 balls. That’s the sort of energy I am spreading in the dressing room as well,” he said.


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