Good to get a game like this out of the way: Virat Kohli after RCB’s loss to CSK

Written by Vipin Darwade

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli was left completely displeased with the slowish MA Chidambaram track on which the IPL 2019 opener was played against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on Saturday (March 23). RCB were bowled out for a dismal score of 70 runs in the match before CSK pulled off the chase in the 18th over to script a seven-wicket win.

On an unfavourable Chepauk track, discarded Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh dismissed Kohli, Moeen Ali and AB de Villiers in his four-overs before Imran Tahir ran riot over the middle order to dent RCB’s hope in the opener. The two veterans picked three wickets apiece before Ravindra Jadeja picked two more to end RCB’s struggle at 70 all-out.

The score was RCB’s sixth lowest ever, equalling the previous tally that they had amassed against Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi in 2014. The score is also the lowest against CSK in IPL history.

“No one wants to start like this, but it’s good to get a game like this out of the way – this early in the tournament,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“We spoke of trying to be in the game, taking it to the 18th over was nice to see. The batting wasn’t good, it wasn’t easy to bat on, looked much better surface though, I thought 140-150 would have been an ideal score, especially with dew expected later on.

“A scrappy start to the league, but I don’t think either team had control over it, the pitch was under the covers for 4 days, but we should have batted better, 110-120 would have been a fighting score. He (Saini) has been good in conditions where there’s some grass, got his chance now. I thought CSK played really well, they deserved to win, but I loved to see our team fighting all the way,” he said.

RCB will have their next match against Mumbai Indians on March 28 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

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Vipin Darwade