Kohli: I’m surprising myself a little bit here


Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli says his confidence is through the roof after his blistering century on Saturday, but that even he was surprised by his innings.

Kohli scored 57 runs off the last 13 balls he faced, while AB de Villiers added a century off 50-odd balls as well, as they beat the Gujarat Lions by more than 100 runs.

Kohli, the leading batsman in the tournament this season, said afterwards that he tends to back himself in the final overs, even if he gets a slow start. He also said he was onto the bowlers' plans for him.

Kohli told iplt20.com: "I am surprising myself a little bit here, to be honest.

"I see that they [teams] have plans outside the off stump for me and they keep two fielders on the boundary straight away. They want me to do something stupid.

"At that point, you need to understand that they want you out. They would rather not have you batting on 15 off 20 balls because they know that once you get in you will cash in later.

"But I have come to terms with that. I don't mind playing run-a-ball for the first 20-25 balls because I know that I can get 40-45 runs in the next 15 balls.

"Now I believe more in my ability to hit sixes or pick gaps for boundaries in the final overs."

The India batsman, never short of a controversial quote, then added that the only reason he didn't smash the bowlers around sooner was because he wanted to avoid 'disrespecting' the game.

He said: "During the last match (against Mumbai Indians) I told Dan (Vettori, RCB's head coach) that I felt like I could hit every ball of the first over from Tim Southee for a six.

"But I stopped myself because I don't want to disrespect the sport. I want to build my innings in the same way every time I go in to bat.

"Sometimes I will get out, like I did in the last game, but as long as I know that I wasn't getting ahead of myself, I am OK.

"Once you start taking the sport and your form for granted, a bad patch comes in and it makes you chase after every single run. And trust me, it is the worst feeling.

"Yes, you have to have confidence and faith in your ability, but at the same time, balance it out with respect for the sport and the willingness to do the same thing again and again each time you go out to bat."