Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017, Kolkata
Virat Kohli has been part of many historic feats, but all those have given him a lot of joy. The latest one, registered on Sunday evening, was one he said he wants to forget quickly. Four years to the day after registering the highest total in IPL history, Royal Challengers Bangalore embarrassed themselves by hitting the opposite end of the spectrum as they posted an IPL record low total, 49 all out against Kolkata Knight Riders.
“Our worst batting performance,” Kohli said summing up the defeat. “It really hurts. After the kind of half that we had, we thought we could capitalise and chase it down. Reckless batting, I can’t say anything at the moment. It was that bad. This is just not acceptable.”
Nobody reached double-figures and there were three ducks recorded in the Royal Challengers’ batting. One of them was Kohli, the first wicket to fall when he edged to second slip just three balls into the chase. Kohli was visibly disgruntled walking back as he gestured to show he had been distracted by some movement above the sight screen. “The sightscreen is very small here. One guy got up as the bowler was loading up, that distracted me. Still it wasn’t a big deal. That was just one down. Nine guys could have done the job.”
When asked if he would dwell on the nature of the defeat, Kohli said that the best thing for Royal Challengers is to focus on the next match rather than spend any significant time analysing how his side lost.
“There’s nothing to review anything about the second half, it was that bad,” Kohli said. “We need to forget it and move forward. We’re a much better team. We got 200 plus in the last game. I’m sure everyone realizes what they’ve done wrong. You have to come out, show intent and back yourselves. I’m sure we won’t bat like that again in the tournament.”
This was Royal Challengers’ fifth defeat as last year’s runner-up slipped to the bottom of the points table with half their games complete. After losing to Rising Pune Supergiant at home on April 16, their third straight defeat, Kohli had said the franchise could not be expected to repeat last season’s feat of winning their last four league matches to make the playoffs. However, they may require another hot run to end the season to have any chance of reaching the knockout stage based on the history of previous standings at the end of the league stage.
No team has reached the IPL playoffs with fewer than seven wins, though the fourth playoff spot in each of the past two seasons went to teams finishing on 16 points. With just four points from two victories, Kohli’s team realistically needs to win at least five if not six of their remaining seven matches to make the playoffs this season but they haven’t given up hope yet.
“We’re going back home for a couple of games,” Kohli said. “We’ve got back-to-back games, need to try and win those to get some momentum.” (ESPNCricinfo)