Tuesday, January 26, 2021

IPL final will be competitive, qualitative: Kohli

Bengaluru, May 29 (IANS) Fans would see a competitive and qualitative game of cricket when two top teams clash in the Indian Premiere League (IPL-9) final here on Sunday, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kholi said on Saturday.

“I can assure fans that they would see quality cricket in the final, which would be competitive, as both teams have such players. It will be a close game,” Kohli told reporters ahead of a high-octane match between RCB and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH) at a packed Chinnaswamy stadium here under floodlights.

Lauding the support and sympathy of frenzied fans for the home team since the IPL season began here on April 12, Kohli said they have been wonderful even when RCB lost a few games (four).

“It’s great to see fans enjoy watching us play, even at the nets (practice sessions) and coming to the stadium in droves for every game irrespective of a win or loss. They cheer us and give energy to play quality cricket in the final,” Kohli said.

Though an IPL final was held here in May 2014 between title holder Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab, Kohli regretted that RCB could not play the final then in front of the home crowd.

“Fan support here is incredible. They have been with us all along, creating an electrifying atmosphere in the stadium. Cricket is something special for them. They stood by us in difficult situations as in the last game when we were down to 69 for six wickets in the playoff and hailed AB (De Villiers) for taking us to the final,” Kohli asserted.

Noting that the team strove hard to enter the final, with a record five back-to-back wins, including semis on May 24, the skipper said the bowling side had also picked up to match with batting side, as evident from last two games where they restricted or got them out with their pacers and spinners.

“The bowling team has picked up at the right time and learnt to handle pressure. The team has evolved into a balanced state and has been working hard to give their best in any situation,” Kohli added.

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