Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Virat Kohli on Thursday said that his partnership with his opening partner Faf du Plessis at the crease is “very similar” to how it was with his former partner and legend AB de Villiers. Virat played a blistering knock of 100 off 63 balls, helping his team win a comfortable match by eight wickets in the Indian Premier League against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Virat won the “Player of the Match” award for his remarkable century in the crucial match. When asked about his partnership with Faf for 172, he said that he feels very similar to batting with Faf as he used to feel with AB de Villiers.
“When I can make an impact in an important game, it gives me confidence, it gives the team confidence. I think it’s the tattoos (secret behind partnership with Faf). We almost have 900 runs together this season. Very similar to how I used to feel with AB and me batting together. Just an understanding of where the game is going and what needs to be done. Having an experienced guy who’s captained at the international level – it’s been a beautiful transition for us coming together for RCB at the top and making an impact,” he said in the post-match presentation. Talking about the crowd support for RCB in the away game at Hyderabad, Kohli said that it felt like a home game and it’s “amazing” to provide happiness to so many people.
“Crowd here was amazing today as well. Told Faf as well. Just felt like it was a home game for us. They were cheering for us, taking my name as well. I feel you can’t create this. I haven’t forced anyone to follow me or be inspired by me. I’m just myself on the field. I do everything on the field very honestly and I think that resonates with people. It’s an amazing position to be in that you can provide happiness to so many people. That’s something I love to see when they have a smile on their face when I perform,” the Indian batter said. Virat also said that he does not give much credit to himself as he is always on stress to perform.
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“Was telling the boys – the way I’m looked at as an IPL player as well is like ‘yeah, he’s fine, few impact knocks’. It’s my 6th IPL hundred. I don’t give myself enough credit sometimes because I put myself under so much stress already. I don’t care what anyone says on the outside. That’s their opinion. When you’re in that situation yourself, you know how to win games of cricket. I’ve done that over a long period of time. It’s not like when I play I don’t win games for my team. It’s playing the situation that I take pride in,” he continued. “Quite special considering the magnitude of the game. Thought SRH got a very good score. Ball was gripping as well. We wanted a good solid start. Didn’t expect to be 172/0. But that’s how well Faf and me have played this season. Faf’s been on a different level. I’ve had a quiet couple of games. The way I was hitting in the nets wasn’t transitioning into the middle in the last 2-3 matches. Wanted to make an impact and my intent was to go after the bowlers from ball 1 – something I’ve done through the season. There was a dip but I wanted to pick my game up at the right time. Never look at past records (not great numbers against SRH),” Virat added.
Put to bat first, SRH lost early wickets as Michael Bracewell cleared up Abhishek Sharma for 11 and then Rahul Tripathi for 15. The duo of Aiden Markram and Klaasen rotated the strike brilliantly, not allowing the RCB bowlers to settle down while whacking the loose balls on offer.
Klaasen played a brilliant knock of 104, providing his team a total of 186/5 in 20 overs. For RCB, M Bracewell was the pick of the bowler, taking two scalps by conceding only 13 runs. Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed and Harshal Patel took one wicket each.
Chasing a total of 187, the celebrated RCB duo Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis gave an outstanding opening stand of 172. RCB won comfortability with Kohli’s century off 63 balls and Faf’s 71 off 47 balls.
SRH bowlers seemed hopeless and got only two breakthroughs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and T Natarajan took one-one wicket.