NEW DELHI: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman AB de Villiers has revealed their latest defeat to Chennai Super Kings after putting up a big total on a slow pitch left everyone inside the dressing room devastated.
Batting first, RCB rode on Quinton de Kock’s 53 and De Villiers’ blazing 30-ball 68 to post 205/8 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday. They then had CSK on the ropes after reducing them to 74/4 in nine overs before MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo pulled off a successful chase.
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“How did we lose that match? For the first 15 overs of each innings, we had played great cricket against powerful opponents, but we slightly lost our way towards the end of our innings and maybe we lost our lines at the end of their innings,” De Villiers wrote in his column for The Times of India.
“For all our early season confidence, for all our growing belief in each other… amid the grim silence, the disbelief, the glazed staring, this defeat felt truly devastating-…Dan Vettori, our coach, spoke, and spoke well. Virat Kohli then identified what had gone right and what went wrong. Their message was clear: we needed to improve in certain areas, we needed to move on and prepare for the visit of KKR on Sunday. Yet, still, we all sat silent, still stunned by what had happened.”
Further analysing the game, De Villiers pointed out Dhoni’s assault as the reason the game slipped out of RCB’s grasp. “The game was essentially won. After reaching 205 on a slow pitch, and then reducing CSK to 74 for 4 in the ninth over, we seemed within touching distance of a second successive win at home, another step in the right direction, a strong move up the table. MS Dhoni deserves immense credit for what followed; his masterclass innings, of 70 runs from 34 balls including seven 6s, turned the game on its head, led his team to an amazing victory, stilled the Chinnaswamy roar and left our changing room stunned,” he wrote.
To lift the gloom, wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock had some words of encouragement for the squad which helped to an extent and the team, despite being affected by the loss, is determined to launch a comeback and keep their playoff hopes alive.
“Quinton de Kock somehow found the words. ‘Come on, boys’ he suddenly declared. ‘Don’t be bitter, just be better.’ In an instant, the gloom lifted… the ice was broken… and everybody laughed,” he revealed. “The dynamics within an IPL squad, of any group of people working hard to perform under pressure, are often hard to understand, but Quinny’s remark changed the mood and, to a man, we left the changing room with smiles on our faces, still disappointed by the defeat but determined to work harder and, crucially, still excited by our prospects.”