Bengaluru: “I think that ends the debate who is the best (batsman) around. I bow down to the big man. Come the big game, AB stands up. (This was) one of the best knocks under pressure. I am really happy for him and the team,” said Virat Kohli as he lauded AB de Villiers after the South African guided Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of IPL 9 in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) May 24, 2016
Termed as one of the modern greats, AB de Villiers scored 79 runs off 47 balls after Dhawal Kulkarni cut through RCB’s top order leaving them reeling at 29/5. However, from thereon AB made sure that RCB did not squander the opportunity to win before their home crowd.
Kohli while admitting that RCB was in a spot of bother was wholesome in his praise for ABD and Iqbal Abdullah who scored 33 runs. “Unbelievable. I don't believe that I am standing here as the winning captain. Today, the top order did not do well. I could see the opposition was worried about AB. Credit to Abdullah as well. Terrific composure from the young guy.”
While the Bengaluru wicket traditionally favours batsmen, bowlers found a lot of assistance from the pitch during the Qualifier 1.
“The pitch played a bit slower. The showers in between settled the wicket. You need composure in a high pressure game and that's what AB did,” said Kohli.
RCB, who could only win two of their first seven games, won six of their last 7 league games to make it to the playoffs. The win over Gujarat Lions in the Qualifier 1 has taken them closer to the title clash. While Kohli and co. continues to receive thunderous support from Bengaluru crowd, winning the final would be an icing on the cake.
“It couldn't be a better scripted story for us: playoffs in Bangalore and final in Bangalore. The support has been fantastic and this (win) is for them. We can't wait to grab our chance and win the final," concluded Kohli.