Gayle has had scores of 1 and 0 in the first two matches for RCB and if one counts the ICC World T20, he has not been able to hit double digits in five consecutive games. “I am sure he will come good at some stage of the tournament. Probably, he may get a hundred for us when it’s required the most. I am not too worried about Gayle because the other guys are stepping up nicely. Cricket is all about
grabbing the opportunity if some others fail,” Kohli told reporters after his team’s seven wicket defeat to Delhi Daredevils.
Terming Gayle as a “standout player” for the RCB, Kohli spoke of the 17 hundreds that the West Indian has scored in T20 cricket, saying it’s “not a joke” to do so. “Chris takes a lot of pride playing for RCB. He has been a standout player for us. I think people just expect a lot out of him in every T20 match he plays because he is good at it and has scored 17 centuries, which is not a joke. So expectations are high and Gayle wants to live up to them,” he said.
Despite Gayle’s failures though, the team scored 227 in their first game and 191 in the next. “Well we got 230 in the first match and almost 200 in this one, without Gayle firing. Guess what would happen when he does! Four guys — Gayle, AB de Villiers, myself and
Shane Watson — of international calibre playing in one team, it always helps. You can rely on these to turn the game for you,” he said.
Commenting on de Kock’s magnificent 108, Kohli said that the South African handled the spinners exceedingly well. “I think it was wonderful, especially how he handled the spinners. It always helps as wicket-keeper to know the pace of the wicket, and knowing which he settled down rather quickly,” he said.
Terming de Kock as a quality player, the RCB skipper said the Delhi Daredevils opener becomes doubly dangerous when he plays on good batting surfaces. “He is a quality player and has been doing well for South Africa in international cricket. On a wicket which assists batsmen, he is a very dangerous player,” he said.
Kohli also said one cannot expect young Sarfaraz Khan to repeat the feat in every match. “What Sarfaraz did in the first game, it is not easy to repeat that feat. In this match, we were on top for 75 per cent of the first innings. They came back in the last four overs and took the game away from us. Then their batsmen, de Kock with Karun (Nair), coasted the team to victory. I think it was a commendable effort,” he said.
Kohli pinpointed the lack of execution by his batters and Delhi’s superlative efforts with the ball, saying that dashed the hopes of RCB registering their second win of the season. “A bit of it was that Delhi bowled well and lack of execution from our end. This always makes a difference, as the following batsman finds it difficult, especially at the death to come in and start hitting straightaway,” he said.
Asked whether the death overs spelt the doom for Bangalore, Kohli said, “We felt we were 50 runs short, and were targeting 200. May be if I had faced 15 balls of the last four overs, we would have got to 215 as well,” he said.