Royal Challengers Bangalore’s journey to this year’s IPL final has been amazing. The team from Bangalore had won just four of their first ten games but then a remarkable turnaround saw them winning five games on the trot to qualify for their third IPL final.
The man responsible for that turnaround was their skipper Virat Kohli. With 919 runs, Kohli has set this IPL on fire. Playing against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final they would be looking to sustain their winning momentum.In an exclusive interview with a leading daily, Kohli spoke on different matters ranging from his team, to Bangalore crowd and much more.
Q: How the team has coped with the break?
We haven’t thought much about it. I think we’ve had quite a long run before the last game that we played – we have had a lot of back-to-back games. In that regard, getting a few days off was a good thing for our players to get fresh before getting back into the practice sessions. Sometimes you need to get back into the zone through practice sessions as a team, because you can tend to get complacent once you’re in the final.
So we understood the importance of the two practice sessions – the intensity was good, especially for the team to come together before a big game and actually executing the plans that we want to take in. I felt that it was a good time to prepare, and to get the right sort of momentum going into a big game like the finals tomorrow.
Q: Impact that the Bengaluru crowd has had?
It will be far-fetched to talk about winning (the tournament) now. In terms of the campaign so far, the support has always been wonderful. Even when we have not done well, the crowds have come and supported us. It is great to see the joy among the people. We see can (the joy) in the training sessions or at the hotel – people are happy and excited that we are in the final. The people of Bangalore have cheered us for so long. We have made two finals, but we couldn’t cross the line. But, this one is for them to see in front of them.
Q: Virat vs Warner, reaching final, on paper favourites, what’s the plan?
We will back our strengths. We were able to turn things around and a half the final because we did not focus much on the other teams. We had sat down and decided to back our abilities and play to our strengths irrespective of the opponents. We played with that mindset for the last 4-5 matches and that’s the reason why we could change the situation for ourselves.
Q: How badly you want this title?
We’re very proud of where we stand right now, and how we’ve been able to come here. The thing that has stood out for me in terms of Dan’s (Daniel Vettori) coaching skill is his composure and the calmness he brings to the change-room. He’s great with the youngsters. Really helps them stay in the right kind of mindset; brilliant with the internationals. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we understand that (what) we’ve done to be here is something that we can be really proud of.