Kohli felt had he not dropped Rahul, who remained unbeaten on 132, twice KXIP would not have been able to go past the 200-run mark.

Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul, who scored a scintillating century against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday, said he was lacking confidence in his skills as a batsman heading into the team’s second IPL fixture.

Rahul starred with an unbeaten 132 off 69 balls as KXIP outplayed RCB by 97 runs.

“I have actually been not so confident (hitting it this well). I had a chat with Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) yesterday, he said how are you feeling, I said that I am not feeling completely in control of my batting, he said you must be joking, you are hitting really well,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation.

He had already spoken about his fears leading up to the IPL, considering he was coming back after a five-month long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Quite honestly I was nervous but I knew if I spend time in the middle, hit a few balls from the middle of bat, it will all settle down.

“I try to do (the same routines as I did when I was a player) but as a captain you have shortened time and you are running around and doing a lot of things,” Rahul said.

Rahul is captaining in the IPL for the first time.

“I still try to maintain the same routine. Once I am in the middle and during the toss is the only time I feel like a captain and otherwise I try to balance being a player and the captain,” he said.

After Rahul starred with the bat, KXIP bowlers put a disciplined performance to bundle out RCB for 109 in 17 overs.

“It’s as complete a team performance as it can get. We had few different plans going into this game.

“We knew RCB have a power packed batting line up and we had to get 2-3 wickets up front and that also meant putting runs on the board, we know what these guys can do if they get set. The analyst, coaches and the management will be happy.”

He was all praise for young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi.

“Something that has impressed me in him (Bishoni’s heart of coming back even after an expensive start). I watched the U-19 World Cup. He has a lot of fight in him.

“Every time I throw the ball he wants to do well, he was a little nervous bowling at guys like Finchy and AB, once he got through that he did well,” added Rahul.

Kohli takes blame for dropping Rahul twice

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli had no qualms in taking the blame for dropping Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul twice, which contributed significantly to their 97-run defeat here on Thursday.

Kohli felt had he not dropped Rahul, who remained unbeaten on 132, twice KXIP would not have been able to go past the 200-run mark.

“I have to stand in front and take the brunt of it, not the best day in the office, couple of important chances of KL when he was set and that cost us 35-40 runs at a later stage. Maybe if we restricted them to 180 we wouldn’t have been under pressure from ball one of the chase,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation.

KXIP posted 206 for three and RCB were bundled out for 109 in 17 overs.

“We know exactly where we went wrong and I have to put my hand up and say a couple of important chances went down. There are days when these kind of things happen on the cricket field, they happen and we have to accept them.

“We have had a good game (against Sunrisers Hyderabad), we have had a bad game and now it is time to move on and learn from the mistakes we made,” said Kohli.

On sending the young Josh Philippe ahead of himself at number 3, Kohli said: “He has batted at the top of the order for Western Australia and done well in the BBL as well, early days in the tournament so we thought we will maximise his ability and see how we go from there on. We thought we will give ourselves a bit of depth in the middle overs.”

The Australian wicketkeeper-batsman had batted in the middle-order in RCB’s first game against Sunrisers.

RCB next play defending champions Mumbai Indians here on September 28.



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