Dubai: Crediting wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal's three-wicket burst for his side's 10-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL-opener, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli said the wrist spinner proved that he can get purchase on any wicket.
Chahal (3/18) removed in-form Englishman Jonny Bairstow (61) and Vijay Shankar in successive balls in the 16th over to tilt the game decisively in RCB's favour. He had earlier got rid of Manish Pandey (34) in the 12th over.
"It's amazing to be honest. Last year, we were on the other side of the result, six-nil to start. It is nice to be one-nil. We kept our composure tonight," Kohli said at the post-match presentation on Monday.
"Yuzi (Chahal) comes in and completely changed the game for us. Not many spinners got much out of the pitch, but tonight he showed that you can turn it if you have it in your wrists. He showed he can get purchase on any wicket. The way he came in and bowled attacking lines, he changed the game."
Talking about his side's batting, Kohli said, "We started really well. Devdutt Padikkal was really good on debut, Finchy as well. AB batting in the last three overs helped us push it past 160."
Asked if he thought 163 was a good enough total to defend, he said, "When you lose two in two, you have to consolidate. If not for two in two, you were looking at maybe 10-20 runs more.
"In the past if we had 43 off five, you'd see the shoulders dropping but the guys kept believing, kept attacking. Someone like Washy (Washington Sundar) not bowling enough and a part-timer doing it are good signs. The fact that we didn't let negativity slip into the bowling group was a great sign."
Player of the match Chahal said, "When I bowled my first over, I realized I need to bowl stump-to-stump line and backed myself.
"At one point, they were batting well and I was trying to bowl loopy ones and wide of the reach which helped in building pressure."
Sunrisers captain David Warner said his side had the run chase in control initially but later knew they had to go after the bowlers in the end.
"Probably the last over of Chahal was the turning point out there. We have to go back to the drawing board. We obviously can't fix what happened today but we have to go back and work hard before our next game in Abu Dhabi."
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The 37-year-old former South Africa skipper is in the UAE to represent his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the remainder of the 14th edition of the lucrative league.
Kohli's announcement comes on the back of his decision to step down as India's T20 captain.
Kohli along with other Indian players refused to take the field in the fifth Test against England at Old Trafford, after junior physio Yogesh Parmar became the fourth close-contact support staff to test positive for COVID-19.