Virat Kohli on Monday (October 12) showered rich praise on his teammate AB de Villiers after the latter scripted Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) thumping 82-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Sharjah.
Coming into bat at No. 4 in the 13th over, De Villiers smashed 73 not out off 33 balls as RCB piled up a mammoth 194/2 on the board. His sublime knock was laced with 5 fours and 6 huge sixes.
WATCH: AB de Villiers blows KKR bowlers away in a special Sharjah knock
“At the toss the pitch didn’t have the usual Sharjah sheen. Knew the wicket was going to get slower and slower. Barring one super-human, everyone struggled on that pitch. Talk was around 165-170. He was unbelievable. I thought I had a few balls under my belt so I’ll start striking. But he came in and hit his third ball nicely. On a pitch like that, only AB can do that. It was a special knock. We got 195 purely because of the genius of that man,” Kohli, who shared an unbeaten 100-run stand with De Villiers in just 47 balls, said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Defending the total, RCB restricted KKR to 112/9 in 20 overs. It was a listless batting performance from the Knight Riders as none of the batters managed to touch the 40-run mark. Shubman Gill was the top-scorer with 25-ball 34.
For RCB, spinners and pacers bowled exceedingly well. While Yuzvendra Chahal (1-12), Washington Sundar (2-20) were economical with the ball and claimed three wickets between them, Chris Morris (2-17), Navdeep Saini (1-17), Mohammed Siraj (1-24) and Isuru Udana (1-19) picked up five wickets among them.
The RCB skipper, who scored 33 not out off 28 balls, also lauded his bowlers for their herculean effort on a Sharjah wicket which is very often referred as paradise for the batsmen.
“They’ve played good cricket in this IPL. Coming here, it was important to get the right start. Great to see individuals step up when the team required. Bowling unit, with Morris coming in, looks all the more potent. Very happy. Preparation was really good. Three week camp helped us. Have clarity of plans. Know exactly what we want to do on the field. All depends on the mindset. It’s very positive. If your bowling unit is strong, you have a great chance of going deep in the tournament. Always things you can reflect on and say you can improve on these things. All about taking this momentum forward. Don’t want to be complacent,” Kohli remarked.
RCB will take on Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in their next game on Thursday (October 15).