Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli said that his match-winning unbeaten ton in the IPL match against Rising Pune Supergiants on Saturday was “sweeter” than the first one he hammered.
“This century is much sweeter than the first because we could romp home this time. I think we needed a victory to pull ourselves up after losing the earlier match where I got my first century of the season,” he told reporters at the post-match press conference at Chinnaswamy stadium.
Kohli gave credit to Lokesh Rahul and Shane Watson for their contributions in Bangalore’s seven-wicket win over Pune.
“I think one player cannot win you a game. I was supported very well by KL at the top and then Watto came in and made a quickfire 36 runs,” said Kohli who hit 108 not out to guide RCB to a seven-wicket win over Pune.
On Shane Watson’s influence on the team, Kohli said today’s performance both with the bat and the ball by the Australian all-rounder probably was the best which he had given to any IPL team before.
“He was brilliant with his bat and ball in this match. I think this was the best contribution he made for any IPL team before. Great to see him bounce back. He was pumped to come out good after a couple of bad innings with his bat,” he said.
Replying to a query, Kohli said Chris Gayle was not rested but Travis Head was in the playing eleven today for his all-round abilities.
“Gayle wasn’t rested. We chose Travis Head in place of him because we felt that we needed more solidity in the middle. Travis strikes the ball really well and KL (Rahul) and me are opening well for the team, and Travis can bowl off-spin as well in the middle if need be,” he said.
Also, Travis was brought in as Pune boasted of three left-handed batsmen, Kohli said.
Kohli said he would not want to lose an outstanding fielder in A B De Villiers by asking him to keep wickets.
“To ask AB keep will be too far costly, for we would miss his services on the field. He is an outstanding fielder. If you take away a good fielder like AB, it will leave our team with nothing in fielding aspect,” he said.
Kohli said the team’s losses even after posting 150 plus totals hurt him the most which goaded him to stay at the wicket till the end to register the much-needed victory today.
“Even after posting 150 plus totals, we were losing, and hence decided to put a premium on my bat and made up my mind to stay at the wicket till the end and see the team through a win which was very much needed,” he said.
He also said that he preferred Sachin Baby to Sarfaraz Khan in his side on account of superior fielding abilities.
“He (Sarfaraz) understands the areas in which he needs to work on as far as the fitness and fielding part is concerned. You can’t afford to have too many guys in the field who are not up to the mark with their fielding because the outfield here is lightning quick,” Kohli said.
“I think Sachin is in that aspect is very committed and he is fit and he works on those things. Me as captain, I want to have a guy who gives 120 per cent on the field and saves some crucial five to six runs,” he added.
In addition to commenting about Sarfaraz’s fielding abilities, Kohli said because of the position he comes in to bat, the Mumbai lad hardly gets 10 to 15 balls to play.
“Also, we understand the position Sarfaraz plays, he is going to get 10 to 15 balls to play,” he said
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