Virat Kohli said that he had given his best and reiterated his loyalty as he signed off as the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper with a heartbreaking defeat in Sharjah.
Kohli finished with 66 wins to 70 defeats in 140 games as RCB skipper.
“I have given my best. I don’t know how the response has been, but I have given 120% to this franchise every time I led this team, which is something I will now do as a player. It is a great time to regroup and restructure for the next three years with people who will take this ahead,” the outgoing skipper said.
RCB was knocked out of this year’s edition after losing the Eliminator to KKR by four wickets but Kohli promised to stay with the team as a player because “loyalty” is everything for him.
“I don’t see myself playing anywhere else. Loyalty matters more to me than worldly pleasures. I would be in the RCB till the last day I play in the IPL.”
Kohli hoped new leadership group in RCB will maintain the “culture” of giving opportunities to youngsters for playing expressive cricket.
“I have tried my best to create a culture here where youngsters could come in and play with freedom and belief. It is something I have done with India as well,” Kohli, who led the side for a decade, said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
On the match, Kohli felt that it was trio of Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy who tilted the match in KKR’s favour.
“Those middle overs where their spinners dominated the game was the difference. They kept bowling in tight areas and kept picking wickets. We had a great start and it was about quality bowling and not bad batting. They thoroughly deserve to win this one and be in the next round.”
Kohli was happy that his team fought till the end.
“The fight till the end with the ball has been the hallmark of our team. That one big over (22 runs) in the middle deflated our chances. We fought till the last over and made an amazing game out of it.”
Kohli admitted that the par score could have been around 155.
“Fifteen runs less with the bat and a couple of big overs with the ball cost us. Sunil Narine has always been a quality bowler and today he once again showed it. Shakib, Varun and him created pressure and didn’t allow our batsmen to get away in the middle,” Kohli added.
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