Rising Pune Supergiants v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017, Pune April 29, 2017

Kohli fumes at lack of intent, fear of failure

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Not the time to assess campaign - Vettori

After Royal Challengers Bangalore ambled to their second sub-hundred total and lost by 61 runs, a visibly disconsolate captain Virat Kohli conceded that his team lost the game rather than Rising Pune Supergiant winning it.

"I think it is everyone for see. We lost that game. It is hard for a captain to stand here and speak after performances like these," Kohli said after the side's third successive loss. "But, [I have] got to embrace it, got to take it in the journey, take it in my stride and move forward and learn from these kind of games, these kind of days.

"We are just not getting good performances together. It is lack of intent, guys fearful of getting out and failing and that's never a good feeling. So, that's all it boils down to. We lost the game rather than them winning it.

Royal Challengers barely escaped being bowled out for the third game in a row after totals of 49 and 134 in their last two completed games. With the exception of Kohli - he made 55 of the team's total of 96 for 9 - the other batsmen finished with single digits. Royal Challengers were on 49 for 5 at one stage and didn't strike a single six until the 17th over. Kohli couldn't point to any specific reason as to how how a batting line-up consisting of himself, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle could fail continuously.

"Could be a few reasons, could be expectations, could be even looking at our side," Kohli said. "We made the playoffs last year, good batting line-up, so all kinds of things play in your head. You can't really pinpoint something unless you know as an individual. It could be hesitation to get out, hesitation to get runs, all those sort of things as batsmen, you know, they can creep in very quickly."

Mathematically, Royal Challengers could still make the playoffs, but Kohli didn't rate their chances too highly. "We are almost not in the race for the playoffs now, pretty much All we can do now is just enjoy the four games," he said. "Not worry about failing, not worry about not getting runs and just go out there and express ourselves."

Coach Daniel Vettori reiterated Kohli's statements on staying focused for the next four games. "There are still four more games to go and they are really important for the pride of the franchise," Vettori said. "We travel to Mumbai tomorrow. We need to play well there."

Vettori was pleased that Royal Challengers' bowlers had restricted Rising Pune to 157. He was particularly appreciative of Pawan Negi, who conceded only 18 runs in his four overs and picked up Rahul Tripathi's wicket. "Our bowling performances throughout the season have been exceptional. A real improvement from where we were last year and some of that is down to the wickets we have played on," Vettori said.

When asked about the batting failures, Vettori admitted that they had a different batting line-up in mind at the start of the season, but injuries to KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan forced a rethink in strategy. "A number of guys I suppose, aren't in the form expected of them," Vettori said. "Virat has led us exceptionally well, not only with the captaincy but with his batting. The group knows where we haven't performed, that's what we need to rectify."

Rising Pune, on the other, had no problems with either fear of failure or expressing themselves, as they completed their fourth win in five games. While lauding his team's "complete" performance, captain Steve Smith singled out pacer Lockie Ferguson for doing everything asked of him.

Ferguson, playing only his second game, finished with figures of 2 for 7 in four overs, including the wicket of de Villiers. "That's a magnificent effort, isn't it?" Smith said. "Three overs of dot balls from Lockie, hit good lengths and bowled good bouncers as well. He is an exciting player for the future."

Smith, however, admitted Rising Pune didn't get the runs they were looking for. "We didn't know what was enough at the halfway point, to be fair. The wicket was a little bit slow and obviously Bangalore players have some quality plyers in their line-up. I thought we came out and bowled really well. We executed our plans really well tonight."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mzrahaman on May 2, 2017, 3:24 GMT

    Kohli is a great batsman and I enjoy watching him at, but he is at best, an average captain. In my opinion, he needs to humble himself to be a better captain. When they were bowled for 49, he seemed to absolve himself and blame the other failing batsmen. Even if it is true, a good captain always shoulders the blame and shield his players in order to earn their trust. He should take a page from the successful captains.

  • Praveen Kanyadi on April 30, 2017, 10:49 GMT

    I think this IPL season has exposed Kohli's captaincy. He has given a poor account of himself as a leader even since the start of the test series with Australia. I am a big fan of Kohli the batsman but as a leader he is too focussed on being seen as aggressive leader. Aggression doesn't need to be shown in your demeanor but with your on field strategies. If he shuts up for few months..His bat will do the talking..until then his gob will outshine his outstanding batting capabilities

  • Praveen Kanyadi on April 30, 2017, 10:49 GMT

    I think this IPL season has exposed Kohli's captaincy. He has given a poor account of himself as a leader even since the start of the test series with Australia. I am a big fan of Kohli the batsman but as a leader he is too focussed on being seen as aggressive leader. Aggression doesn't need to be shown in your demeanor but with your on field strategies. If he shuts up for few months..His bat will do the talking..until then his gob will outshine his outstanding batting capabilities

  • henry on April 30, 2017, 8:34 GMT

    What is the win / loss ratio for RCB over the last 3 years??

  •   Mustafa Sarwari on April 30, 2017, 8:03 GMT

    The problem with the RCB is their captain Kohli i think he just think he's the world best batsman and captain he should encourage the boys and don't shout a lot in the field if these big names ABD, Gayle, Watson would play for any other team you would see the performance so hope RCB come back strong and entertain the fans

  • Ahsen Khan on April 30, 2017, 7:15 GMT

    Statistics does not always tell you everything. Kohli needs to improve his captaincy. He need to seem calmer, stable and less expressive.

  • Deepak on April 30, 2017, 6:56 GMT

    All this talk of aggression intent sound so lame Kohli is following Dhoni's footsteps when he always used to talk of the process and not the result. The major problem for RCB is a captain who just goes around shouting and showing antics a top heavy batting order poor middle order and worst bowling line up. All successful IPL teams have had a balanced side a proper mix of quality and talent. RCB always favored big names nothing much will change with RCB if they continue with this approach

  • Kumarpal Vardhan on April 30, 2017, 4:47 GMT

    Batting doesn't win you matches if it fails and your bowlers can't defend the runs then you're in big, bug trouble. It's time to start afresh.

  • Kumarpal Vardhan on April 30, 2017, 4:45 GMT

    Kohli needs to blabbering intent, aggression and attacking cricket. It doesn't work if your players have given up which has happened here.

  • Amindha on April 30, 2017, 4:42 GMT

    Franchises can't be disbanded so easily@cricketchat, they'll come back next season . After the big g auction they might only have kohli and AB and maybe Rahul ( if they have the cash) left, but they can build a team around them.Personally I would rather have teams retain 6-7 players instead of maximum 4 for the big auction as it helps keep some of the old flavor. Really no continuity if the entire squad changes in 1 year .Imagine that happening for Barca or MU

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