Cricket / I have given my 120% as captain to RCB, I don't know how the response has been: Kohli

Zoom News : Oct 12, 2021, 11:17 AM
Cricket Desk: Virat Kohli on Monday (October 11) expressed his desire to see Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) new leadership group maintaining the "culture" of encouraging youngsters to play with freedom.

Notably, Kohli’s stint as RCB captain came to an end on Monday as his team got knocked out of the IPL 2021 with a four-wicket defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Eliminator.

"I have tried my best to create a culture here where youngsters could come in and play with freedom and belief. It is something I have done with India as well," he said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Kohli, who led RCB for a decade, finished with 66 wins and 70 defeats in 140 games.

"I have given my best. I don't know how the response has been, but I have given 120% to this franchise every time, which is something I will now do as a player. It is a great time to regroup and restructure for the next three years with people who will take this ahead," the outgoing skipper said.

"I don't see myself playing anywhere else. Loyalty matters more to me than worldly pleasures. I would be in the RCB till the last day I play in the IPL."

Coming to the match, RCB posted a paltry 138/7 in their allotted 20 overs after opting to bat first. It was a disappointing performance as Virat was the top scorer with 33-ball 39.

Sunil Narine was the stand-out bowler for KKR, claiming four wickets by conceding only 21 runs in his four overs. Varun Chakravarthy (0-20) and Shakib Al Hasan (0-24) also returned with impressive bowling figures.

"Those middle overs where their spinner dominated the game was the difference. They kept bowling in tight areas and kept picking wickets. We had a great start and it was about quality bowling and not bad batting. They thoroughly deserve to win this one and be in the next round," Kohli said.

"Fifteen runs less with the bat and a couple of big overs with the ball cost us. Sunil Narine has always been a quality bowler and today he once again showed it. Shakib, Varun and him created pressure and didn't allow our batsmen to get away in the middle."

Knight Riders were expected to chase down the target easily but they were made to work hard for the win. While openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer contributed 29 and 26 receptively during the chase, the pair of Nitish Rana (23) and Narine (26) chipped in with handy twenties in the middle-order.

Needing 12 runs off the last two overs, the experienced duo of captain Eoin Morgan (5) and Shakib (9) ensured KKR get over the line with two balls to spare.

Virat Kohli was pleased that his team fought till the end.

"The fight till the end with the ball has been the hallmark of our team. That one big over (22 runs) in the middle deflated our chances. We fought till the last over and made an amazing game out of it."