IPL 2021: Being confident, fearless has paid off, says Kohli after RCB outclass RR
- RCB defeated RR by 7 wickets on Wednesday
- Chahal was the Player of the Match for 2 for 18
- RR managed to score only 149 runs in the first innings
Virat Kohli believes being "confident and fearless" has helped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bounce back after losing their opening two matches of the second phase of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
Following their losses to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), RCB have now won two consecutive matches in the underway season. Kohli-led RCB clinched a comprehensive 54-run victory over Mumbai Indians (MI) last week and on Wednesday, they defeated Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven wickets in Dubai.
RCB spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was named the player of the match for his terrific spell of 2 for 18 in four overs. Meanwhile, the other bowlers also stepped up, with Harshal Patel picking up three wickets, Shahbaz Ahmed two and one each for Dan Christian and debutant Goerge Garton.
Bangalore restricted RR at 149 for 9 in 20 overs and in reply to that, Kohli and Co chased down the target with 2.5 overs to spare. Glenn Maxwell remained unbeaten on 50 off 30 balls.
"We have come back strongly in two games back-to-back with the ball which is a great sign. In T20 cricket if you can hold nerve with the ball, it means you are heading in the right direction. We came back and dominated. 175 would have been competitive, it still was a very good wicket to bat on. With the kind of bowling attack that we have, we need a couple of breakthroughs and things will open up. We knew if we held to our patience, we'll get mistakes from the batsmen and that's what happened but they were forced mistakes," Kohli said at the post-match presentation after RCB's seven-wicket win on Wednesday.
Opening batsman Evin Lewis gave RR a flying start as he put up 71 runs for the first wicket with Yashasvi Jaiswal. Lewis struck three sixes and five fours in his explosive knock of 37-ball 58 before becoming Garton's maiden IPL wicket.
Lewis' dismissal was the game-changer for RCB, according to Kohli, who scored a 20-ball 25 during the chase.
"Evin Lewis's wicket was the game-changing moment. Garton did really well in his first game, he was composed enough to pitch the ball in the right area. We have gotten the rewards because we have been confident and fearless. That's been the USP of our team in the last two games.
Through the middle overs, our bowling has been amazing. With the bat as well, we have been getting good opening starts which gives a lot of balance to the team. That's been the focus with Dev and myself - to get good starts. Everything is coming along nicely and people are making contributions at the right time. We were blown away completely in game one, we took it as a positive. You need to be up with the pace of the tournament. We are getting into the groove at the right stage of the tournament," added Kohli.
With the win over RR, RCB now have 14 points and remain at third place in the IPL 2021 points table, with CSK and Delhi Capitals (DC) above them.