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IPL 2018: Virat Kohli says read pitch wrong after RCB’s loss to RR

Virat Kohli’s plans of chasing down the target came apart after Rajasthan Royals (RR) amassed 217 and defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 19 runs in an IPL 2018 clash at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

cricket Updated: Apr 15, 2018 22:54 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
IPL 2018,Virat Kohli,Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore lost to Rajasthan Royals by 19 runs in an IPL 2018 match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.(BCCI )

When Royal Challengers Bangalore asked Rajasthan Royals to bat first in the Indian Premier League game on Sunday, it was assumed skipper Virat Kohli was sticking to the trend of teams chasing down targets. (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)

Nine of the 10 games before the RCB-RR tie had been won by teams chasing, with only Delhi Daredevils caught short after a rain-break left them with too much to get against Kings XI Punjab.

After Ajinkya Rahane’s Rajasthan Royals rode a blinder from Sanju Samson (92no – 45 balls, 2x4, 10x6) to amass 217/4, RCB were left to chase down a record total to win, and they eventually fell short by 19 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

READ: IPL 2018: Sanju Samson special hands Rajasthan Royals win over Royal Challengers Bangalore

Virat Kohli conceded after the match that it was simply a case of misjudging how the team’s home pitch would behave.

PLAN TO CHASE DIDN’T WORK

“Maybe it is just a coincidence, maybe teams have good bowling attacks, so they feel they can restrict teams and have a decent score to chase down,” he said at a media interaction when asked about the trend of bowling first in IPL 2018.

READ: IPL 2018: Gautam Gambhir’s Eden Gardens return spices up KKR-DD game

“Our thinking was looking at how the pitch was. It surprised all of us. We thought it was going to be slower than how it played. The ball came nicely on to the bat. First innings, it kept coming on nicely even when the ball got old. We thought it wasn’t going to be a 200-plus wicket at any stage.”

“That is T20 cricket, it can go either way, 200? But 220 proved a little too much in the end. That is why they say one ball at a time is very crucial. Though you are hit for runs, you need to make a comeback and contain some runs. Credit to Rajasthan, they played very well.”

READ: IPL 2018: Adam Milne replaces injured Pat Cummins for Mumbai Indians

The bowlers suffered, and the pitch slowed down a tad into the RCB chase, which helped RR leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal bowl a crucial spell mid-innings and remove Kohli and AB de Villiers.

OFF-DAY FOR PACERS

However, Virat Kohli defended his pace bowlers. Umesh Yadav, who took three wickets in one over in the win over Kings XI Punjab on Friday, went for 59 runs off four overs. England’s Chris Woakes returned 2/47.

“When you concede 200 it is tough, we got 200 (198/6) as well. On hindsight we have to sit down and see whether we could have been more composed when they were going really well and try and have 10-15 less. That would have given us a little more confidence.”

“There is not much you can do when opposition batsmen are in that kind of a flow. They executed their shots and plans well. We have to accept it.”

“Today was just an off-day for everyone. You can’t sit here and think just because you have picked him in the auction he will give 24 off 4 every game and pick you two-three wickets,” he said when asked whether Woakes has struggled.

It was a big, big batting day. I don’t think the bowlers need to be too harsh on themselves.”

Virat Kohli wasn’t surprised a number of English players have been bought by IPL franchises, in the auction or as injury replacements.

“It is because of how they play their T20 circket in the last couple of years. Right from the T20 World Cup they have been a very explosive T20 side,” he said. “People are sharpening their skills according to formats and these are some of the best T20 players in the world and that is why you get picked in the IPL.”

First Published: Apr 15, 2018 21:36 IST