Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli said on Saturday that his team was not doing well in the first phase of the IPL and that the latest additions, including Sri Lanka’s Vanidu Hasaranga and Dusmantha Chamira, gave the team a new dimension.
IPL-14, suspended in the league in May due to several Kovid-19 cases in the bio-bubble, will resume in the UAE on Sunday.
RCB is losing the services of some of the players involved in the first round, including the Australian duo Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson.
“We made changes, we got some replacements. Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa who was with us in the first leg, made a decision not to play in the second leg, which is completely understandable,” said Kohli at the unveiling of the Team Blue jersey.
“The alternatives we got for those guys are two players who know these conditions, the conditions on the subcontinent at the moment are similar.
“Vanidu Hasaranga, Dusmantha Chamira played a lot of cricket in Sri Lanka and knows how to play on similar pitches. Skill sets there help us a lot.
“We didn’t talk about what we lost because of the players leaving. We were strong and the new additions gave us a new dimension,” said Kohli.
RCB are currently third in the league table, winning five of their seven matches, but the captain said the team will start the second round with the same passion and commitment they showed in April-May.
“After playing the game for a long time at this level you have achieved seven wins in a row, but you understand that you have to start the eighth with the same passion and commitment and professionalism.
“Even if you don’t win in five games, you still have to find the motivation and the passion inside to go out and change the outcome. You can not take anything lightly.
“There are many analytics and data points outside but the game is not played on it. The game is not about information coming from outside, the reaction, the belief in a few moments, the game plans and making sure you have the will and commitment to execute those plans.
Asked if the players had not had enough time to spend as a group before the tournament, Kohli said the team’s performance in the first half was very confident.
“It’s an important factor (players joining the team at different times) but it doesn’t detract from what we want to achieve and the last time we’re already in motion.
“We have a great start to the campaign in IPL 2021 and it’s a driving force that can play a certain brand of cricket that we have already shown with really strong and consistent performances in the first leg, every player somewhere else or so.”
The RCB will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Monday and the Kohli-led RCB players will wear blue jerseys similar to the color of the frontline fighters’ PPE kits.
These signed jerseys will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be used for free vaccination in less specialized categories in India.