Virat Kohli heaps praise on KKR bowler: He's going to be 'key factor' for India

Virat Kohli, Varun Chakravarthy

Virat Kohli, Varun Chakravarthy


  • KKR defeat Kohli's RCB by 9 wickets on Monday
  • RCB drop down to third place in IPL 2021 table
  • Varun Chakravarthy is Player of the Match for his 3 for 13

Virat Kohli heaped praises on Varun Chakravarthy after the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) spinner helped his side restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for a mere 92 in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 meeting on Monday.

KKR produced an all-round performance at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi as they successfully completed their chase with nine wickets and 10 overs to spare.

The eventual Player of the Match, Chakravarthy, picked up three wickets, including the crucial scalp of Glenn Maxwell in the first innings after Kohli won the toss and opted to bat in Abu Dhabi. He also removed Sachin Baby and Wanindu Hasaranga, while he also enforced the run out of Kyle Jamieson and caught Mohammed Siraj's catch off Andre Russell's bowling.

"It was important to get a good partnership. We didn't expect that much dew to kick in that early. From 42 for 1, we lost 5 wickets for 20-odd. Bit of a wake-up call, might as well have this at the start of the second leg so that we know what we should work on. You can make the argument that we were rusty but as professionals you're expected to turn up and adjust. Sometimes it can take you a game, I hope not two, to get into the tournament, you have to stay with the eight-ball, if you're not, the other teams will be all over you," Kohli said in the post-match presentation following RCB's nine-wicket loss on Monday.

Chakravarthy, who recently made his international debut during India's tour of Sri Lanka, has also been included in India's squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

"Pretty good from Varun, he's going to be a key factor when he plays for India. It's great guys who've got the opportunity to play at the international level. He's someone who is going to play in the near future for India, it's a great sign," added Kohli, who played his 200th IPL match.

While Kohli became the first cricketer to play 200 matches for a single IPL franchise, the end result did not turn out to be a memorable one. It was also RCB's sixth consecutive loss in the UAE. Incidentally, RCB's last win came against KKR at the same venue when they restricted KKR to 84/8 in 20 overs and chased it down in 13.3 overs.

"We have five wins from eight, we expect a loss here and there, it's part and parcel, need to be professional, stick to our strengths and execute our plans. We have absolute confidence in our squad to pull up next game onwards and put in strong performances," said Kohli.

Chasing RCB's target of 93, KKR lost Shubman Gill in the 10th over, when they were 11 runs away from victory. The opening batsman scored 48 off 34 balls before becoming RCB's only victim of the day. Debutant Venkatesh Iyer finished the game for KKR as he remained unbeaten on 41 off 27 balls.

The loss on Monday meant, RCB remained with 10 points and dropped to third in the IPL 2021 points table. Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who defeated Mumbai Indians (MI) by 20 runs on Sunday in Dubai, are currently at the top of the table, with Delhi Capitals (DC) in the second spot.

RCB's next game in the IPL 2021 is against leaders CSK on Friday (Sept. 24) in Sharjah. KKR, on the other hand, take on MI in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (Sept. 23).

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