IPL 2021: Virat Kohli “feels amazing” as RCB claim playoff spot with two games to spare

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli was over the moon as his team made it to the IPL 2021 playoffs with a six-run victory against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Sharjah on Sunday (October 3).

Opting to bat first, RCB posted 164/7 in their allotted 20 overs on the back of Glenn Maxwell’s brutal 57 off 33 balls and opener Devdutt Padikkal’s steady 38-ball 40.

In reply, PBKS were restricted to 158/6 despite a 91-run opening partnership formed by KL Rahul (39) and Mayank Agarwal (57). Yuzvendra Chahal was the stand-out bowler for RCB, claiming three wickets by conceding 29 runs in his four overs.

With this victory, Bangalore became the third team after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Capitals (DC) to secure their place in the IPL 2021 playoffs.

“Feels amazing. After 2011, we haven’t done it with games to spare. Eight wins out of 12 games is a great campaign. We have two more opportunities to finish in the top two. Should give us the motivation to play even more fearlessly,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

“When you don’t have any wickets on the scoreboard, you can take more risks, which myself and Dev have to. 15-20 runs on this ground can be crucial. We have to plug those areas. As a side, we have had an endeavour to improve, whether in losses or wins.”

“We knew the wicket would get slower and slower. KL and Mayank batted really well, but we knew we were just two wickets from coming back into the game. The resurgence of Siraj, ever since he has done well in Test cricket. Harshal’s inclusion has been outstanding. Yuzi has chipped in, as has Shahbaz. Garton has come in. If the players don’t step up, then the campaign goes off track,” he added.

RCB are occupying the third position on the points table with 8 wins from 12 matches. They will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Delhi Capitals (DC) in their last two league fixtures on October 6 and October 8, respectively.