Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli said his team showed amazing character after they beat the Chennai Super Kings by five wickets in a closely-fought match in Ranchi, on Sunday.
Virat Kohli: It was a great victory for us, especially after the way the wicket played in the second innings. It was a sensible batting display by us. The good thing was that we did not panic. We backed ourselves even during the last few overs. This was a great example of the kind of character the team has.
We had Chris Gayle hitting out there, then there was (AB) De Villiers and Yuvraj (Singh). In such a situation, we had to back our team.
It was difficult to get the big shots as the ball was turning a lot. As the game progressed, the ball got more and more slower and turned more. So it was about rotating the strike as much as possible and hitting the ball with the turn and not trying anything fancy. With the old ball, it was comparatively easy to stay on the backfoot and work it away.
When in the last over Abu Nechim went in to bat, we didn’t give him any message. Yuvraj later told me that he wanted Abu to just hit the ball and run. But he just stepped out and slammed the ball so hard that it almost went for a six. That’s the kind of belief the players have now.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: We knew beforehand that the pitch would slow down further and 138 would be competitive. Our spinners did maintain the pressure and that’s one of the reasons why the game went close.
Overall, we played a good game of cricket. Some would say that a pattern is developing with such close losses just before the play-offs. But commentators would keep on talking about such things, as they need something to talk about. I personally don’t think so. The best thing about good starts is that you can have a pattern, but it can change also.
At the end of the day, catches win matches and you don’t drop big players. It’s not the first time we’ve made that mistake.
AB de Villiers (MoM): It was probably one of the most difficult wickets that I played on. I am also a bit surprised that I won the Man of the Match award. I thought I was going to get one of those interesting awards and Abu Nechim was going to get MoM award. I thought I would get an award for keeping my calm as I had handled the pressure pretty well.