Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore have confirmed their playoffs berth by beating Punjab Kings on Sunday and have ensured that they have a crack at qualifying for the two-two in the remaining games. Despite starting the UAE leg in a typical laggard fashion, they have managed to overturn the fortunes thanks to consistent bowling effort and the success of top-order batters, and Glenn Maxwell.
The campaign has been very sweet for Virat Kohli, who has already announced this season as his last skipper in the IPL.
"Feels amazing. After 2011, we haven't done it with games to spare. Eight wins out of 12 games is a great campaign. We have two more opportunities to finish in the top two. Should give us the motivation to play even more fearlessly," Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
RCB posted a 165-run target for Punjab Kings with Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal providing them with a 68-run opening stand. Kohli understood that the wicket was going to be slower further in the second innings but admitted that with Rahul and Mayank Agarwal putting on a strong opening stand, it did claim nerves for a bit.
"When you don't have any wickets on the scoreboard, you can take more risks. Which myself and Dev [Padikkal] have to. 15-20 runs on this ground can be crucial. We have to plug those areas. As a side, we have had an endeavour to improve, whether in losses or wins. We knew the wicket would get slower and slower. KL and Mayank batted really well, but we knew we were just two wickets from coming back into the game."
Kohli further lauded his bowling unit and stated that they have combinedly helped them to a strong position now. "The resurgence of Siraj, ever since he has done well in Test cricket. Harshal's inclusion has been outstanding. Yuzi has chipped in, as has Shahbaz. Garton has come in. If the players don't step up, then the campaign goes off track," the RCB skipper added.