Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli said the arrival of the Sri Lankan duo Wanidu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera have added a new dimension to the franchise. Apart from these two, Bangalore have also managed to acquire the services of Tim David, Akash Deep and George Garton.
The five players have been brought in as replacements for Daniel Sams, Finn Allen, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Washington Sundar. The IPL-14, which was suspended midway into the league in May owing to multiple COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble, will resume in the UAE on Sunday.
"Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa who were with us in the first leg for a bit, they were an integral part of the team, they made a decision not to play in the second leg for reasons which are absolutely understandable," said Kohli.
"The replacements we have got for those guys are two players who know these conditions. The conditions in the subcontinent this time of the year are pretty similar. Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera are two guys who have played so much cricket for Sri Lanka and they understand how to play on pitches like these and their skillsets will be of huge help for us, playing in Dubai, understanding how hot and humid conditions can be and how the pitches will play out, they know everything.
"The guys coming in blend into the team culture and the plan of the team very well. The core group is also motivated. We haven't focused at all on what we've missed out on but we feel stronger as the new additions have given us few other dimensions."
RCB are currently placed third in the league table, having won five of their seven matches but the skipper said the team will start the second phase with the same passion and commitment they showed in the first leg of the tournament. Bangalore are slated to take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday in Abu Dhabi.
"We've had a great start to the campaign and that is our value factor and our motivating factor knowing that we can play a certain brand of cricket which we have shown in the first leg, with really strong and consistent performances and every player chipping in somewhere or the other, and people standing up and making impact performances for the team.
"Having played this game for so long at this level we understand that whether you have seven wins in the row, you have to start the next game with the same passion and commitment. And if you have no wins in five games which we have experienced as a team, you still have to find motivation. You just cannot afford to take things for granted.
"The reason why we played that way was because we were not looking beyond the day that we were part of - we never looked at how many games are left, how many points we need to qualify. We did not focus on that at all. What we focused on was the culture of the team, enjoyment among the players."
Asked if the players not getting enough time to spend as a group ahead of the tournament affect preparations in any way, Kohli said the team's performance in the first half instilled a lot of confidence.
"It is an important factor (players joining the squad at different times) but that isn't going to take away from what we set out to achieve and what we already set in motion in the last time."
(With inputs from PTI)