Shane Watson flashed his trademark boyish grin when asked about Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli’s form. “No one can ever play like that!” the lanky Australian all-rounder exclaimed on Thursday (May 19) after the flamboyant Kohli scored his fourth ton in the ongoing Indian Premier League on Wednesday night.
“To be able to score one (century) in your entire career (in T20s) is an incredible feat, but for someone to score four hundreds in a (single edition) of the IPL!” At the Chinnaswamy Stadium, which saw a truncated 15 overs-a-side contest because of rain, Kohli powered to his fourth century in the last nine innings. IPL’s Batman, much like his other innings this season, made batting look ridiculously easy. The Royal Challengers’ skipper, with a stunning 865 runs from 13 innings this season, has come in for high praise from sports persons across the world.
Watson, who has keenly watched Kohli’s batting in the competition, told, “Virat and AB (De Villiers) as well, they’re playing a different game at the moment. Their control and what they’re doing is mind blowing. It’s a privilege to be able to play with RCB, to get to know Virat and AB, off the field as well and see what incredible people they are.”
Watson, who was among the most economical bowlers during Australia’s loss to India in the ICC World Twenty20 earlier in the year, said meticulous planning from bowlers is the only way to curtail Kohli. “Every time I have played against Virat, there have always been specific plans, more on how to contain him. He rarely makes a mistake. As a bowler, I just want to contain him as much as I can.”
“It’s more about trying to mix it up so that he doesn’t really have much of an idea about where I am going to bowl at. But by the end of the third over or so he is reading me like a book and hits wherever he wants,” he quipped.
Royal Challengers bowlers have come in for a lot of flak for their uninspiring performance, but Watson feels the pressure on the bowlers has eased thanks to big numbers on the board. “When you have got a few more runs to defend, it makes it a bit easier. When the opposition is chasing 12 runs an over from ball one, you have a little bit more room for error if things don’t go exactly your way,” he added.
Royal Challengers, who were second from the bottom a few days ago, have played admirably well to move up to second on the points table. Talking about the mood in their camp, Watson said: “We are flying. To be able to win and get ourselves in this position before the next round is an incredible achievement. It will take franchises some time to find out the right mix for the new players. A couple of really crucial players were missing as well. It’s just about finding the right balance. Once we did, things have just continued to go up from there. It’s just a really special franchise to be involved with right now. Everything has gelled and everything has clicked. We are having a very good time.”