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Staying calm helped: Virat

Calcutta: Royal Challengers Bangalore took a sweet revenge as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets at the Chinnaswamy, on Tuesday.

Leading the charge was RCB captain Virat Kohli, who scored an unbeaten 93 off 47 balls with 11 fours and four sixes. He made his intentions clear when he struck Thisara Perera for a wonderful boundary through the covers off the first ball. Kohli punished the loose deliveries at will and finished off the game in style when he struck Ishant Sharma for a magnificent boundary through extra cover.

At the presentation ceremony, Kohli said: “I didn’t perform too well in the IPL last season… But this year, I am not putting any expectation on myself. I am just staying calm at the crease and playing the ball according to its merit… I think staying calm helped… It’s working for me so far in the tournament.”

The following are excerpts

Virat Kohli: It always feels nice when you contribute to your team’s win. It’s really feels good when your hard work is rewarded. We always work hard at the nets and it all came good today…

The guys can be really proud of the way we played today. The guys were really disappointed after losing the last game. But I told them not to get disheartened and not to blame themselves for the loss… We had put up a great effort in the last match but it was simply not our day. There was a calm energy in the dressing room after that… Everyone looked to play positive cricket and wanted to give their best. And that showed on the field today. We made a really good comeback.

I didn’t perform too well in the IPL last year… But this year, I am not putting any expectation on myself. I am just staying calm at the crease and playing the ball according to its merit… It’s working for me so far in the tournament. At the toss only, I had said that I wanted to bowl first. On this ground, you cannot defend easily. And it’s always better to bat under the lights since the wicket remains a bit slow during the day.

I think restricting them to 162 was a good effort by our bowlers… It was a par score. The bowlers did go for a few runs towards the death, but we bowled well throughout and I am happy with their performance. They have a very good bowling attack… I am glad that we chased it down with 14 balls to spare. We are just concentrating on our game. We don’t want to think much about our position in the standings.

Kumar Sangakkara: Virat was just amazing today… He made the difference between the two sides. We did bat well to put up an imposing total… The partnership between Thisara Perera and Cameron White helped us to set a good target. But when Virat is on song, you cannot do much. We got off to a slow start… We could have scored a bit faster in the first 10 overs… But that’s what happens when you are batting first… You tend to settle down first and then go for the shots.

However, White and Perera did accelerate towards the end… They paced their innings really well and got us to a strong position… 162 was a competitive total. But in the end, it was an exceptional innings by Virat, which made the difference.

RP Singh: Generally people talk about Chris Gayle’s power-hitting… But we proved today that we have plenty of batsmen like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers who can be equally devastating.