Premier all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s brilliance may have ruined the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore’s plans in the IPL here on Sunday but with one eye on this year’s T20 World Cup, the India captain was not complaining.
In fact, Kohli seemed delighted to see his India teammate make an excellent return after a long injury layoff.
“His (Jadeja) ability has been there for everyone to see. I am very happy to see him perform with the bat, ball and on the field,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“After two months, he will be back playing for India and it is always a pleasure to see your premier all-rounder do well with the bat. When he plays well and is confident, it lets out many opportunities.”
Kohli threw his weight behind beleaguered pacer Harshal Patel, who conceded a record 37 runs in the final over to let CSK off the hook in their final over.
With CSK placed at 154 for four in the beginning of their innings’ last over, Jadeja began by clobbering four consecutive sixes off Harshal before adding another off the fifth ball.
Flattened by Jadeja’s brutal assault, RCB faltered in their chase of 192 and were stopped at 122 for nine.
“(Harshal) bowled well and we will continue to back him. We will continue to give him responsibility, he got both the set batsmen out and plucked all the momentum away,” Kohli said.
After a cracking start that saw them cross 50 in five overs, RCB lost the plot and brought to an end their four-match winning streak.
“You have to look at it the right way,” Kohli said, trying to stay positive in the face of the big defeat.
“I feel this is a positive feedback for our side. A performance like this, it is good to get this out early on in the tournament. Our start was decent enough.
“One guy completely beat us. Today his skill was there for everyone to see,” the India captain said referring to Jadeja’s brilliance.
He said he will continue to open the batting, a role he has chosen for himself in the year of the T20 World Cup.
“We need to look at the loss in the right way. I am opening the innings with Dev (Devdutt Padikkal). We will continue to test our batting depth. As a batting side we are confident. We are going to switch the roles at some point,” Kohli said.