Virat Kohli gutted as RCB crash out: ‘Can’t always depend on de Villiers’

first_imgVirat Kohli was distraught after Royal Challengers Bangalore were knocked out of the league stages for the second year running in the Indian Premier League.Last year, RCB had finished last in the points table after winning only three out of their 14 matches. This season, they needed to win all of their last four matches to keep their hopes of a play-offs berth alive.RCB won three-on-the-trot against Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab and table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderbad. On Saturday, Kohli would have fancied his chances against Rajasthan Royals, who were without Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.(MATCH REPORT | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS)However, in the absence of the two English stars, three young Indians stood up. Rahul Tripathi smashed an unbeaten 80 while Shreyas Gopal picked up 4/16 to send RCB crashing out of the tournament. Chasing 164, RCB needed to reach their target in 15.5 overs to overcome Mumbai Indians in the net run rate.But things started to get tricky when RCB lost Kohli in the third over. A promising partnership between Parthiv Patel (33) and AB de Villiers (53) raised their hopes of at least victory – never mind the net run rate.But once Patel was dismissed, de Villiers found no support from the middle-order and there was complete mayhem. Moeen Ali, Mandeep Singh and Colin de Grandhomme were dismissed cheaply. The pressure of staying up with the increasing net run rate had piled up on de Villiers and his dismissal in the 13th over was the final nail in the coffin for Bangalore.advertisementKohli said the other batsmen needed to take up some initiative and it was not fair to leave the pressure of scoring only to de Villiers.”It was a strange one; we were in a great position at one stage but the way we fumbled it wasn’t ideal,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.”AB was batting beautifully, the decision-making of the others was poor. It shouldn’t have been repeated by five, six guys in a row. We wanted to strengthen our middle order. That hasn’t been our strength for the last few years and it’s something we need to look forward to over the next year and beyond.”Scoring and stress in the middle order can’t always be on a guy like AB. Here, others around him just didn’t show enough composure,” he said.But it was not all gloom and dismay for RCB, who looked far better than last season. Their bowling had been a problem but with Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj and Tim Southee in the line-up, some concerns were addressed.”There were quite a few positives: Umesh was outstanding, Yuzvendra Chahal was good, Siraj took his opportunities, Moeen grabbed his chances and gave us the balance. I am disappointed to not finish this off after we were cruising. Just to see the way it unfolded after that hurts,” Kohli said.RCB will have to look at ironing their batting flaws next season. Kohli (530) was once again the leading run-scorer while de Villiers finished with 480 runs. The third highest scorer for RCB was Mandeep, who managed only 252 runs.last_img

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