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IPL 2021: KKR vs RCB: No question of pressing the panic button just yet, says Kohli

Virat Kohli

Bengaluru, September 21: Though Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper captain Virat Kohli rued his side's batting collapse in a nine-wicket drubbing by Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 31 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at Abu Dhabi, he said there was no reason to press the panic button yet.

At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Monday (September 20), RCB, who took first use of the wicket were shot out for a paltry 92 in Kohli's 200th IPL game.

KKR chased down the target with consummate ease in just 10 overs by reaching 94 for one with Shubhman Gill (48) and debutant Venkatesh Iyer (41 not out) adding 82 runs for the opening wicket.

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"We were 42 odd for one and then lost about five wickets within 20 runs, which is a very difficult situation to come back from.

Bit of a collapse there for us, bit of a wake-up call and might as well have this at the start of the second leg so that we know exactly what we need to work on," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Virat Kohli appears in his 200th IPL match, set a unique recordVirat Kohli appears in his 200th IPL match, set a unique record

With five wins and three loses, RCB are currently perched third in IPL 2021 standings as they take on MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) next on Friday (September 24) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The Eoin Morgan led KKR are fifth in the table as they are set to face champions Mumbai Indians in their next IPL 2021 tie at the same venue in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (September 23).

IPL POINTS TABLE | RESULTS/FIXTURES

Asked if the result was due to rustiness, Kohli said, "You can make the argument that we were rusty but as professional cricketers, you're expected to turn up and adjust to the formats, that's the dynamic of world cricket today.

"We've never found any troubles doing that but sometimes it can take you a game to get into the tournament. You've to stay with the 8-ball, especially in this format. If not, then the other team is going to be all over you," the Indian skipper added.

Chakravarthy, Russell, Gill, Iyer shine as Kolkata humble BangaloreChakravarthy, Russell, Gill, Iyer shine as Kolkata humble Bangalore

On the brilliant performance by KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy (3/13), Kohli said, "Pretty good, that's exactly what I was saying in the dug-out, he's going to be a key factor when he plays for India. We need to see performances like these from all the youngsters so that the bench strength of Indian cricket stays strong.

"And, he's someone who is going to play in the near future for India and it's a great sign," the Indian captain said.

Virat Kohli to step down as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain after IPL 2021Virat Kohli to step down as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain after IPL 2021

Kohli, who is going to relinquish RCB captaincy after this edition, said there was no question of pressing the panic button just yet.

"We have five wins from eight games, we expect a loss here and there in this tournament. That's part and parcel of things. You have to take it in your stride like you take your victories in your strides as well.

"We just need to be professional and stick to our strengths and make sure that we execute the plans that we have properly on the field. We have absolute confidence on this squad that we'll be able to pull up from the next game onwards and putting strong performances."

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Story first published: Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 8:23 [IST]
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