Winless after three games, Royal Challengers Bangalore will need to be more "experimental" and "brave" when things aren't going their way, if they are to turn their fortunes around this season. This was Virat Kohli's view after Royal Challengers slipped to a 118-run defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad, which he termed as one of his side's "worst losses ever".
The platform for Sunrisers' thumping win came from their openers Jonny Bairstow and David Warner, who both made hundreds and put on 185 in just 16.2 overs. While giving the two batsmen credit for their "brilliant effort", Kohli felt his bowlers could have varied their plans to them a little more.
"Probably one of our worst losses ever. I mean, there's literally nothing I can explain right now," Kohli said at the post-match presentation. "Nothing went right for us from ball one, until the last wicket fell in our batting innings, so really difficult one to explain, I guess. We were outplayed in all departments by a quality, quality side, and this showed why they won the previous year, made the finals last year, and now they're up and running again, so credit to them, they played really well and deserved to win.
"We could have tried a few different things, probably [taking the] pace off the ball and a few more bouncers in our innings should have been good, but we really didn't try anything once those guys got in. It was very difficult to contain runs, and a few of the edges just fell in between as well, you need some luck going your way, get a couple of wickets and stop the run flow.
"But the way they batted, I think it was outstanding, just to show intent for 16-17 overs on the run is a brilliant effort, especially in the first innings, where we thought the ball wasn't coming on as well as the second innings. So credit to both of them, they were world class today and they definitely deserved to be on the winning side."
Kohli once again stressed on the need to be more flexible, and not become predictable, when asked about Royal Challengers' prospects for their next game, against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur.
"Well, the pitch is definitely going to be nice, so we're going to be in with a contest again. We have to bring our A game to the table. What we did against Mumbai [Indians] is the kind of intensity we need to bring to the ground, and when things don't go our way we need to be a bit more experimental, a bit more brave out there in the middle.
"If we go through the motions, if we do the regular basic stuff, then things are going to keep going away from us. So we'll have to find ways of winning moments, and eventually getting the result our way and really get going in the tournament, which is very important. If we want to gain some momentum we need to start well, and probably next game should be that game for us."
Kohli opened the batting in Royal Challengers' season-opener against Chennai Super Kings, but has since moved down to No. 3. He felt this lent his team the best possible balance, and didn't think any drastic changes were necessary for the rest of the tournament.
"We've thought about that initially as well. When I've opened I've done well for the team, but the important thing is to find the right balance in the batting line-up, and I feel myself at three brings in that balance to the side," Kohli said. "Myself and AB [de Villiers] batting together has always been an advantage for us, so that's probably the mindset behind me batting three. So I don't see that changing.
"We just need a better start from the boys up front. Just three games into the tournament, we still have 11 games, and things can turn around pretty quickly in this particular league. We've seen that in the past, so we've got to stay optimistic, not think of too many changes now, and just go with that set batting order and try and capitalise on the moments that come our way."