Virat Kohli’s record-equalling sixth Indian Premier League century helped put the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a good position in the league table, as the group stage of the competition nears its end. Kohli, accompanied by Faf du Plessis, helped the RCB come up with an eight wicket win over hosts Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday to move to fourth in the league table.

Kohli’s knock saw him equal Chris Gayle’s record for most IPL centuries.

“Quite special, considering where we’re placed in the points table and the magnitude of the game,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation.

“We wanted a solid start. I’ve had a quiet couple of games in the last few matches, and I just felt that the way I was hitting in the nets, it wasn’t quite transitioning into the games. I wanted to make an impact and my intent from the start was to go after the bowlers, something I’ve done throughout the season. There was a little bit of a dip, but I wanted to get my game up at the right time. Considering all those factors, I’m just really happy it all came together very nicely.”

Kohli was then asked about how his numbers are not that great against SRH, and whether that is something he has on his mind. “I never look at numbers,” was his response.

He added: “I was telling the boys as well, the way I am looked at as an IPL player as well, it’s like, ‘You know, he’s fine, few impact knocks’. This is my sixth IPL hundred and I don’t think I give myself enough credit sometimes because I put myself under so much stress already that I don’t really care about what anyone says on the outside, to be honest. When you’re in that situation yourself, you know how to win games of cricket and I’ve done that for a long period of time.”

RCB had won the toss and opted to bowl first. Heinrich Klaasen was the pick of the SRH batters, scoring an impressive 104 off 51, with eight boundaries and six sixes, helping the hosts get to 186/5 in 20 overs.

In reply though, Kohli and skipper Faf du Plessis stormed their way to a 172-run opening partnership.

“We’ve got almost 900 runs together this season. It’s been amazing to bat with him. It’s very similar to how I used to feel when AB (De Villiers) and me batted together,” said Kohli, the player of the match, who joked that the duo call themselves the ‘Ink Boys’ because of their tattoos.

“It’s just we understand of where the game is going and what needs to be done. We pump each other up, we read the conditions, we give each other feedback about how we play certain bowlers. Having an experienced guy, he’s handled troops as well. It’s just been a beautiful transition for us, coming together for RCB at the top, and making an impact, which is so important.”

Du Plessis scored a solid 71 off 47, and also shed light on the partnership he has with Kohli.

“We complement each other very well. We play at very different areas, so we’re difficult to ball too. And we rub off on each other, there’s good chemistry between the two of us. We’re good mates on and off the field,” he added.

Kohli also spoke about how he must stay true to his technique.

“I’ve never been a guy who tries so many fancy shots, because we have to play 12 months of the year,” Kohli said. “For me, it’s not playing fancy shots and throwing my wicket away. We’ve got Test cricket after the IPL, so I’ve got to stay true to my technique and find ways to win games for my team, something that I take a lot of pride in, and when I can make an impact in an important game, obviously that gives me confidence, gives the team confidence, and it just helps the team overall, which is something that I look to do.”

RCB currently occupy the last spot in the playoff zone, level on 14 points with Mumbai Indians but with a better net run rate. Their last match of the group stage is a home match against the Gujarat Titans on May 21.