I am not too worried about Gayle’s form, says Kohli

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Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli on Monday said that Chris Gayle’s indifferent form is not a cause of worry as he feels that the dashing Jamaican is just one knock away from a big score.

Gayle has had scores of 1 and 0 in the first two matches for RCB and if one counts from the ICC World T20, he has not been able to hit double digits in five consecutive games.

“I am sure he will come good at some stage of the tournament. Probably, he may get hundred for us when it’s required the most. I am not too worried about Gayle, because the other guys are stepping up nicely. Cricket is all about grabbing the opportunity, if some others fail,” Kohli told reporters after his team’s seven wicket defeat at the hands of Delhi Daredevils.

Terming Gayle as a “standout player” for the RCB, Kohli reminded one and all that 17 hundreds that the West Indian scored across all his career T20 games is “not a joke”.

“Chris takes lot of pride playing for RCB. He has been a standout player for us. I think people just expect a lot out of him every T20 match he plays because he is good at it and has scored 17 centuries, which is not a joke. So, expectations are high and Gayle wants to live up to them,” he said.

Despite of Gayle’s failures, the team scored 227 in the first game and then almost 200 (191) in the next.

“Well we got 230 in the first match and then almost 200 in this match, without Gayle firing. Guess what would happen when he fires! Four guys – Gayle, AB de Villiers, myself and Shane Watson – of international calibre playing in one team, it always helps. You can rely on those four and turn the game for you,” he said.

Commenting on De Kock’s magnificent 108 runs, Kohli said that De Kock handled the spinners exceedingly well.

“I think it was wonderful, especially how he handled spinners. It always helps as wicketkeeper to know the pace of the wicket, and knowing which he settled down rather quickly,” he said.

Terming De Kock as a quality player, the RCB skipper said that the Proteas opener becomes doubly dangerous when he plays on batting surfaces.

“He is a quality player and has been doing well for South Africa in international cricket, and on a wicket which assists the batsmen, he is very dangerous player,” he said.

Kohli further said one cannot expect Sarfaraz Khan to repeat the feat in every match.

“What Sarfaraz did in the last game, it is not easy to repeat that feat in every game … In first half of the game, 75 per cent, we were on the top, and they came back, 25 per cent, in last four overs, took the game away, right from the beginning. Quinton with Karun (Nair) coasted the team to victory in last over – I think it was commendable effort,” he said.

Kohli pinpointed lack of execution by his batters and Delhi’s superlative efforts in the bowling department, which dashed the hopes of registering the second win of the season.

“A bit of it was that Delhi bowled well and lack of execution from our end. This always makes a difference, as the following batsman finds it difficult, especially at the death to come in and straight away start hitting,” he said.

Asked whether death over spelt the doom for Bangalore, Kohli said, “We felt we were 50 runs short, and were targeting 200. May be if I had faced 15 balls of the last four overs, we would have got to 215 as well,” he said.

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