Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has said his side erred in its shot selection in a low-scoring chase against Deccan Chargers on Sunday. Royal Challengers' defeat in Hyderabad allowed Chennai Super Kings to hang on to the fourth spot at the end of the league stage and qualify for the playoffs.
After dismissing Chargers for 132, Royal Challengers lost wickets at regular intervals, Dale Steyn finishing with figures of 4-0-8-3. Kohli said Steyn's spell cost his team the match. "He bowled amazingly well," Kohli said. "He's one player that you must be cautious against. We needed to target the other bowlers but I don't think we played the right kind of shots. On that wicket we could have played ourselves in before taking chances at the end.
"We have been batting brilliantly through the tournament but today people were getting beaten on straight balls; balls that they would usually smash out of the ground. Things didn't go right for us as far as batting is concerned but I think we bowled well and fielded well. We played good cricket for 70 percent of the game."
After the dismissal of Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kohli and Saurabh Tiwary kept Royal Challengers in the hunt with a brisk stand of 46, which came at 7.45 runs an over. But Kohli's dismissal in the 16th over led to a lower-order collapse. "My wicket changed the face of the match, we were easily poised and at that stage needed 30 from 25 balls. We made mistakes today and could have played better cricket shots," Kohli said.
"When a team has nothing to lose they play freely and they bowled in good areas today. I don't think the wicket was that bad to bat on, it was a bit two-paced but if you played yourself in then you could hit some big shots. Apart from me and Saurabh (Tiwary ) we didn't get any partnerships. We need small partnerships in T20 when you're chasing a small score and that didn't happen for us today."
Kohli said despite Gayle falling in the third over, Royal Challengers should have chased the target easily. "He's been a big, impact player for us but (after his dismissal) the other players should have stepped up today, which didn't happen. We should have made better decisions while batting.
"You can't smash every over in T20, you must analyse and stretch the game till the end, we needed partnerships and when I got out we needed 30 from 25 which was gettable. It was always up to the batsmen in the middle to analyse what was going on."
Despite failing to make the playoffs, Kohli said the side learnt a lot from the high-quality cricket played in the IPL this year. "Unfortunately we are out because of net run-rate but I don't think we've played bad cricket at all," he said. "It feels very bad (failing to qualify for playoffs) but as a tournament the IPL has been brilliant this year, I think six-seven teams were on 16-17 points each. It's been really competitive and it's good the more competitive it gets, as it brings out more quality from the players."