Dubai: Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli hailed young pacer Navdeep Saini's brilliant Super Over that helped his side win a pulsating IPL contest against Mumbai Indians on Monday.
RCB defeated Mumbai Indians via Super Over after the original game was tied. Saini bowled the Super Over for RCB conceding only seven runs and Kohli finished the game with a last-ball boundary off Jasprit Bumrah.
"Outstanding Super Over from him (Saini), bowling against Hardik (Pandya) and Pollard. I think the longer boundary helped him gain some confidence with his yorker, because he has got the pace and then he was using the wide yorker well too," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"The guys showed real good composure to get these two points in the bag and very crucial points at early stages of the tournament," Kohli added.
He also credited Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard to bring Mumbai back into the game.
"It was such a roller-coaster of a game. We batted well in the first innings to get us past 200 and then the start of bowling was outstanding. They played well in the middle overs, waited for the dew to kick in.......Pollard and Ishan to bat the way they did was outstanding to keep them in the game," he added.
According to Kohli, fielding is something that the team needs to work on.
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma conceded that Royal Challengers held better nerves than his team. "Nothing to take away from RCB. They stuck to their plans, although we put them under pressure, they held their nerve more than us. It was a great game of cricket, we were not in the game at all when we started with the bat.
"But great innings by Ishan (Kishan) there to get us back in the game and then Polly (Kieron Pollard) was brilliant as usual," Rohit said.
Rohit said that Kishan was drained and was not feeling fresh and hence did not bat in the Super Over.
"He was drained out and was not comfortable. We thought we could send him in but he was not feeling fresh and Hardik is somebody we trust hitting the long-balls but it is not coming off."
Rohit said that they did not start well and hence could not get back from there. "It is just that we couldn't start well. I thought we could get that 200 with the batting power we had but we could not get the momentum in the first 6-7 overs."
He was confident that the match was on till Pollard was around. "We lost a few wickets there and could not get back. With Polly (Pollard) being there, anything can happen and with Ishan hitting the ball really well, we had that belief that we could get it," he said.
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Whether Kohli took the decision to quit T20I captaincy to purely manage the workload or the criticism got to him will remain a mystery for a while, but all things considered, it appears a bold move that should only benefit Indian cricket and him.
The players began their early departures for the remainder of the IPL, starting September 19, after India's fifth Test against England was postponed indefinitely following COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.
Earlier, reports had emerged that Kohli might step down as the captain in the limited-overs format of the game, handing the reins over to Rohit Sharma.