Virat Kohli was leading Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru after a gap of over 1,400 days. Although it was not a happy start with the bat, but Kohli would take the end result any day as RCB posted an impressive seven-run win over IPL 2022 runners-up Rajasthan Royals.
After a hard-fought win over Sanju Samson’s side, Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma were both delighted. Bollywood star Anushka Sharma was seen cheering for Kohli and RCB from the stands in Bengaluru. Soon after the win, a video of Anushka Sharma celebrating Kohli and RCB’s win went viral on social media.
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RCB stand-in captain Virat Kohli praised Glenn Maxwell and Faf du Plessis as well as pacer Mohammed Siraj after the win. “We had this discussion during toss. The pitch looked dry and I mentioned to the guys they will have 10 overs under lights which is very difficult here. The advantage was the ball got scuffed up. However, with the impact player rule and the extra batter, games are always on. That’s why (there have been) so many close games,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
“The counter-attack from Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) and Faf (du Plessis) was even better than the Chennai game, it was a better surface that day. Maxi took the game away in just four overs. We thought 160 might be enough but the way they batted helped us to 190,” he added.
Mohammed Siraj bowling as well as I’ve ever seen: Virat Kohli
Kohli said Siraj, who dismissed Jos Buttler for a two-ball duck, has justified donning the Purple Cap. “He’s (Siraj) got him (Jos Buttler) out in the past and he’s bowling as well as I’ve ever seen. Running in with the new ball he shows that intent and the confidence, he has the Purple Cap and for good reason. He’s leading the attack and hopefully Josh (Hazlewood) comes in next game,” Kohli said.
Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson defended the team’s decision to send Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of Jason Holder as his side, despite making 61 runs in the last 30 balls, lost narrowly. “Ashwin, with his experience, has delivered in the pressure moments in the last couple of games. A six and a four in the Ahmedabad game and we felt we could count on his experience,” Samson said.
“When you are playing on this ground, 10s, 12s, 13s in an over are chaseable. It is about getting the momentum, normally, Hetty does it for us, but he had an off-day, one shot here and there does it for us. The thought keeps on changing, depending on how the wicket plays, we decide on the time when a wicket falls,” Samson said.
(with PTI inputs)