Chennai: Royal Challengers Bangalore is all set to face the dominant Chennai Super Kings in the curtain-raiser of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League today at the MA Chidambaram Stadium today. Despite the clash between the two teams always garnering much hype among the fans, the Chennai franchise has continuously dominated the Challengers, without giving room for any challenge in the contest.
With Kohli’s men opening their season in front of the passionate Chennai crowd, the RCB skipper is mindful of the fact that his team enters the contest as underdogs. “Every team that comes to Chennai is always considered underdogs because CSK has done so well at home and MS (Dhoni) knows exactly what he wants out of his team and we all have been aware of that. Keeping all that under consideration, we are going to be backing our skills and analyse the situation and come out on top. What matters is focussing on the basics of the game. We have to stay in the present to give CSK a tough competition and grab all situations and opportunities that comes our way,” said Kohli, speaking on the eve of the season-opener.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, which is always known as a team that goes after big stars during the auction, this year in turn has acquired the services of some upcoming Indian players like 16-year old leg-spinner Prayas Ray Barman, U-19 opener Devdutt Padikal and batsman Himmat Singh. Speaking about his team balance this year, Kohli said, “We got a good balance in our team which not many people are aware of that. Our focus this year was to get good domestic talent. In the past our focus has always been on to obtain strong overseas players but this year it was about getting good domestic players and the guys are really confident with good skills. We are pretty much the same in terms of team balance compared with CSK.”
RCB is yet to win a game against Chennai since the 2014 edition and speaking about CSK enjoying a good head-to-head record against his team, he said, “I don’t believe in head-to-head rivalries in IPL. In T20 cricket it’s anyone’s game at the end of the day. Yes, we haven’t won against CSK in the last six years. But T20 cricket is a game where if you bring enough energy on the field on that particular day you can win.”
“Earlier when we were close to winning matches we expected the game to go our way rather than trying to change the course of it and it all boils down to poor decision-making. We are going to correct that this season. It does not matter how you win or who you are playing against. It is simply keeping an attitude where we don’t give up at any stage and try and win games. We don’t want to be that side where we play flamboyant cricket and entertain people and when it comes to crunch situations, we are not getting results. We have to play consistently and scratch our way to victory,” said Kohli, speaking about the team’s aim this season.
Asked whether he feels frustrated of not winning IPL title, he said, “I know people talk about it a lot and if given a chance like any other captain I would love to win the IPL and we all are motivated to do well but it has’nt happened and that’s the reality. There are no excuses for that. The fact that we played six semifinals means that we have been a side that has always been in contention.”