Glenn Maxwell got his new team to ‘love the duck in the water’ and AB de Villiers’ ‘love’ for the franchise also helped put the Royal Challengers Bangalore on the right track this season, captain Virat Kohli said on Sunday.
RCB beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 38 points to win their third trotting match with Maxwell and de Villiers cracking 78 on 49 balls and 76 not on 36 balls respectively.
“Maxi took this team like a duck in the water. AB love the team and they made a difference today, ”Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
“ I said midway through we had 200 because of two back-to-back genius heats. Maxwell was exceptional and AB followed. When it comes in with that kind of form and flow, it’s impossible to stop it. We got 40 more points in this field, which slowed down. Kohli also credited his bowlers for all three trotting wins.
“ Especially as Siraj is at Russell (giving just one point in the penultimate) he had a history against Russell. He’s a different bowler after the Australia tour and he closed the game.
“ Harshal has so much clarity at the end and I think Jamieson played well as well. That’s why we have three out of three. The RCB and India captain said the execution was perfect on Chepauk’s slow pitch.
“ To be honest, on a pitch like Chennai you probably have a little more room to make a mistake on the longer limit. He must be offside and not on the side. Siraj missed the toss, but he has two men at the limit.
“There are areas we can work on. We are not ahead of ourselves and are not overly excited. Villiers Man of the Match said he played well and had a lot of fun.
“ Maxi made it easier and it’s difficult to enter a game on a pitch that was slower. It was a bit of both.
“It wasn’t a 200 wicket; maybe 170 was about normal today. Most importantly, I have fun with my cricket – my family is here, ”said the legendary South African drummer.
Losing captain Eoin Morgan said he couldn’t gauge Chepauk’s wicket.
“ Definitely RCB’s day with the bat in a scorching afternoon game. That (the Chennai pitch) certainly baffled me, and I can’t gauge the wicket, ”Morgan said.
“ Everyone who knocked on that wicket felt he was playing better, but RCB played better. Of RCB batsmen Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers who beat 78 and 76 not eliminated respectively, Morgan said: “ Maxwell is a good player, but to play AB you have to have that option.
“We struggled to start and we put in a position where only André could do it. Different wicket (in Mumbai), Dew, and we watched these matches.
AB de Villiers said on Sunday that it would be “fantastic” to make an international comeback before the next T20 World Cup.
The T20 World Cup is scheduled for India in October-November.
“ If I can sign up it will be fantastic, ” de Villiers said after playing another winning round for his Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in the IPL here.