Virat Kohli took charge of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) after a gap of over 460 days, since giving up the captaincy of the side after IPL 2021. Kohli had to step in for injured Faf du Plessis to lead the side against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Mohali on Thursday.
It was a victorious return for Kohli as captain in IPL as RCB hammered PBKS by 24 runs to post their third win of the league. Kohli starred with the bat as well, scoring 59 and putting on 137 for the opening wicket with regular skipper Du Plessis – the highest stand for any wicket for RCB in Mohali.
However, Kohli did make a major blunder in the field as RCB attempted to defend 174 runs. PBKS wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma kept the home side in the hunt with his big hitting towards the end. Jitesh scored 41 off 27 balls with three sixes and 2 fours. Harshal Patel had the chance to end Jitesh’s resistance and forced him to sky the ball towards long-on where Kohli was standing. Kohli called for the catch but dropped an easy opportunity.
WATCH Virat Kohli drop the catch of Punjab Kings batter Jitesh Sharma…
But Mohammed Siraj came to Kohli’s rescue in the very next over, dismissing Harpreet Brar and Nathan Ellis in the 18th over of the match to virtually seal the game for RCB. Harshal finally had his revenge as he dismissed Jitesh in the 19th over, caught at point by Shahbaz Ahmed to end the PBKS innings.
“This (win) does not make us an invincible team or the league position before today did not make us a bad team. The table cannot define your mood, when you have just played five or six games. Maintain our processes and stay in the moment. In the first half, the conditions changed drastically,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
The stand-in RCB skipper said that the team needed to change their strategy mid-way through the innings as the ball started to get softer. “After overs 7-8, as soon as the ball was getting bashed into the square, the ball really started getting scuffed up. We changed our strategy then to bat deeper. Had we stayed in, we could have given a crack at 190-200. We felt 175 was a good score on this pitch. I told them that was more than enough. All we had to do was be confident and hold the ball in hand looking to get wickets. The way you win games in T20 cricket is by taking wickets,” Kohli revealed.