Sharjah: Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has expressed confidence in his side ahead of their eliminator clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah Monday. He also felt that names like ‘qualifiers’ and ‘eliminators’ are just given to create pressure in playoffs.
“We have a lot of confidence on our team. If not the top two spot (on the points table), then we will have to win two more matches to reach the Final, and we are fully prepared for that. You prepare for all kinds of possibilities, and the way I see it, Qualifiers and Eliminators are just terms that exist to create more pressure for these matches,” Kohli said on Inside RCB show on Star Sports Monday.
Kohli, who is on his last season as the Bangalore skipper in IPL, has asserted that his team’s focus will be on executing plans and winning whatever comes their way.
“When you play cricket, you either win or lose, so when you think you have two options (winning or losing), then that mindset can possibly turn into a negative one. Our focus is to go out, execute our plans and win games. When your only option is winning, and losing is not an option, then your performance reaches another level and I feel our team is in the right space to execute our plans.”
Star batsman AB de Villiers shared his views on how the team was preparing for the business end of the tournament. “Naturally, the intensity goes up when everything is on the line, you think back to when we started the IPL to now – we’ve put in a lot of effort, so it is natural for the juices to start flowing a bit more. Skillset stays the same, my game plan won’t change much, and I think the cricket that we are trying to play will not change much.
“There will definitely be more to lose for everyone out there – I mean, you lose, you’re going home. You think back on all the effort you have put, you don’t want that to happen. And it’s all on the line, body on the line and stuff. He (Kohli) will be full of adrenaline, as always. And he will be making sure we all are in the fifth gear once the eliminator starts,” signed off de Villiers.
Bangalore will clash with Kolkata in the IPL 2021 Eliminator later Monday in Sharjah. While the winner of the match will progress to Qualifier 2 and face Delhi Capitals Wednesday, it will be the end of the road for the losing team in the tournament.