IPL 2016: First priority for RCB is to make it to play-offs, says captain Virat Kohli
RCB captain Virat Kohli remembered former franchise director Vijay Mallya for picking him in the team and providing him with an opportunity
Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli said that though the team has never lifted the IPL title, they take pride in being among the top three teams. "There is always a feeling that we haven’t been able to lift the title having been runners-up twice. That is one hurdle we haven’t been able to cross despite wanting to, but as a team, we have been among the top three," he said.
Kohli said he wouldn't comment about their chances of lifting the title this season, but said their number one priority is not to depend on any other team to reach the play-offs stage. "I wouldn't like to comment. It's too long a tournament to think of winning the title now. We would like to be in a position to reach the play-offs first on our own effort and not depend on other teams, run-rate, etc. Our number one priority is not to depend on any other team to reach the play-offs stage," he said.
On Mitchel Starc's absence, Kohli said the team would miss the Aussie pacer, but they have Shane Watson who is economical, and also Harshal Patel and Adam Milne who'd form a good bowling attack. "We will miss Starc, but we have Watson, who is very economical in bowling. An all-rounder like him can think like a batsman and bowl accordingly. We also have Harshal Patel, Adam Milne, who is clocking 150, and Stuart Binny. We have a wonderful mix but everyone has to play their roles and work to their potential," he said.
Asked about what he did to get over the disappointment of missing out on the World T20, Kohli said the all players took time off before
preparations for IPL began. "Personally, it was difficult to get over the loss in the World T20 semi-final to West Indies, after creating such a momentum. We took a few days to get over that and switch over. Everyone has taken time off and prepared for the IPL, which is a challenging game with travel, hectic schedules, etc. The IPL is different from other tournaments, as we also have sponsor commitments here," he said.
Asked about the poor form of star batsmen Shane Watson and AB de Villiers, Kohli said they have many options and a decision in this regard will be taken depending upon ground conditions and opposition. "We have discussed this but would not like to disclose details. We have so many options. Getting the right field, where to bat, etc. We need to find the right comfort level," he said.
Asked whether he foresees a European football-like culture emerging for the IPL, Kohli said, "Cricket is a different ball game. It has its own standards. Everyone wants to play and win the tournament. It is not good to get into a club-like culture."
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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.