Bengaluru: After registering their first victory at home in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL), an elated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli has credited the outcome to his bowlers, especially Umesh Yadav.
Chasing 155 for victory against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday, host RCB romped home in 19.3 overs, thanks to some fine knocks by Quinton de Kock (45), AB de Villiers (57) followed by Mandeep Singh’s 22, down the order.
After losing their IPL opener against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), RCB was eyeing a win at home and Umesh’s 3/23 restricted the opponents to a chaseable total. The Royal Challengers will get a chance to maintain the momentum as they host Rajasthan Royals in the early game of the day on Sunday.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Kohli said: “Very happy. First home game is crucial. Last year, we couldn’t get off to a start. The crowd has a lot of expectations, and tonight was a game we wanted badly, especially in the initial stages of the tournament.”
“We knew the new ball will come on nicely, and the batsmen hit some good shots. Umesh bowled well, getting three wickets in an over is great,” expressed the 29-year-old.
Kohli further said: “Our mindset is — we want our best bowlers to step up and get confident early on. When only five are playing, you have to hit your areas well. They (bowlers) have done well.”
Umesh, who was also adjudged the Player of the Match, said he enjoyed a lot of freedom from his skipper and bowling coach Ashish Nehra.
“I was backing myself and my strengths, bowling quick at the stumps. Whatever you want, you do it is what Kohli and the coach tells,” said the pacer.
Despite being at the receiving end, Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin appreciated his team and felt his boys gave a tough fight.
“I am really proud of the way the boys fought. Always thought we had our backs against the wall because we were about 20-30 short. Still we fought hard and I am proud of the guys,” said the KXIP skipper.
Ashwin, who was appointed the skipper ahead of the season, said he is enjoying to be on the driving seat.
“It’s good so far, I am really enjoying it. Cannot ask for anything better from the boys,” he opined.
Both the sides have now a win from couple of games.