IPL 2021: “My commitment to RCB is till the last day I play in the IPL”
Information about IPL 2021: “My commitment to RCB is till the last day I play in the IPL”
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) loss against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 Eliminator marked Virat Kohli’s last match as a captain in the tournament. However, the 32-year-old confirmed that he would continue to turn up for RCB in the IPL, as loyalty matters more than ‘worldly pleasures’.
Having been a member of the franchise since the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, Virat Kohli was touted to be a future captain after his triumph in the U-19 World Cup earlier that year. He eventually became RCB’s fifth captain, following Rahul Dravid, Kevin Pietersen, Anil Kumble and Daniel Vettori. Kohli led the franchise for the first time in 2011, and has done so for ten years now.
Speaking to Ian Bishop after the match, Kohli threw light on his captaincy stint, and talked about his commitment to the team. He also believes that it’s the best time to restructure the unit and bring in players who could take the team forward. He said in this regard:
“I have tried my best to create a culture here where youngsters could come in and play aggressive cricket, with freedom and belief. It is something I have done with the India team as well. I have given my best. I don’t know how the response has been on that, but I have given 120% to this franchise every time, which is something I will now do as a player. It’s a great time to regroup, and restructure the franchise for the next three years and bring in people who will take this ahead.
“Yes definitely (on playing for RCB), I don’t see myself playing anywhere else. To me, loyalty matters more than worldly pleasures. My commitment to RCB is till the last day I play in the IPL,” said Virat Kohli.
In 140 matches as RCB captain, Kohli has had a success rate of 48.16%. Under him, RCB qualified for four IPL playoffs, finishing runners-up in 2016.
KKR deserved to win the Eliminator: Virat Kohli
Lauding KKR for their win in the Eliminator, Virat Kohli opined that they deserved to advance. Kohli said so because the KKR spinners outsmarted the RCB batters despite a strong start in the powerplay.
“I think those middle overs where their spinners literally dominated the game was the difference. They kept bowling in tight areas, and kept picking wickets. We had a great start, and should have built on that, but it was about quality bowling and not bad batting. They thoroughly deserve to win this one, and be in the next round,” said Kohli who top-scored with 39.
Despite reaching 53 for one in the powerplay, RCB were restricted to 138-7, courtesy of tight bowling from the KKR spin trio of Shakib Al Hasan (0-24), Varun Chakravarthy (0-20) and Sunil Narine (4-21). Narine also slammed a 15-ball 26 to take the game away from RCB.
“Sunil Narine has always been a quality bowler, and today he once again showed it why he has been one of the most consistent cricketers in the IPL. Shakib, Varun and him created pressure, and didn’t allow our batsmen to get away in the middle,” Kohli added.
Fighting till the end has been RCB’s hallmark in IPL 2021: Virat Kohli
After finishing third in the IPL 2021 points table with nine wins, RCB have now been knocked out of the tournament. Reflecting on RCB’s defeat and the things that could have been done better, Kohli reflected:
“The fight till the end with the ball has been the hallmark of our team. We never gave up, and returned strongly into every game. That one big over (22 runs) in the middle deflated our chances. We fought till the last over, and made an amazing game out of it. But we were 15 runs less with the bat, and a couple of big overs with the ball cost us.”
KKR will now face Delhi Capitals (DC) in Qualifier 2 in Sharjah on Wednesday. The winner of that game will face the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday.
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