So close yet so far. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) arguably delivered their best performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) yet they could not get their hands on the title. They were knocked out in the eliminator, losing to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). It was an emotional game for the team as it was RCB skipper Virat Kohli’s last game as the captain. After the loss, Kohli talked about his captaincy stint with RCB and said he tried to create a culture where youngsters are given the freedom to express themselves, adding that he expects the new leader to carry forward the culture.
“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,” Kohli, who led the team for a decade, said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Despite performing well with the bat, Kohli didn’t enjoy a great amount of success as a leader. Under Kohli, RCB won 66 games while losing 70 matches. Kohli added he always tried to give his best for the team and will continue to do so as a player in the coming seasons.
“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.
Kohli also confirmed he won’t play for any other franchise in the PL. “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,” he said.
RCB batting that had done well till the eliminator, faltered at the last hurdle. They were restricted to a below-par 138/7 in their 20 overs. While the bowlers kept RCB in the hunt, the runs were far too little to defend. Kohli lauded the team for their fighting spirit. “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.”