de Villiers is a genius; it was a special knock: Kohli

While paying heart-felt tribute to his teammate AB de Villiers for his brilliant unbeaten 73-run knock in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) big win against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday, captain Virat Kohli called him a genius.

“I thought I had a few balls under my belt so I’ll start striking. But he came in and hit his third ball nicely. On a pitch like that, only AB can do that. It was a special knock. We got 195 purely because of the genius of that man,” Kohli said after the 82-run win.

“At the toss the pitch didn’t have the usual Sharjah sheen. Knew the wicket was going to get slower and slower. Barring one super-human [de Villiers], everyone struggled on that pitch. Talk was around 165-170,” he said at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

RCB won the toss and posted 194 for two wickets in 20 overs, with contributions coming from Aaron Finch (47 off 37 balls) and Kohli (33 off 28), Devdutt Padikkal (32 off 23), besides de Villiers. They then restricted KKR for 112 for nine wickets in 20 overs.

Kohli also praised his bowlers.

“They’ve played good cricket in this IPL. Coming here, it was important to get the right start. Great to see individuals step up when the team requires. Bowling unit, with Morris coming in, looks all the more potent. Very happy,” he said.

“If your bowling unit is strong, you have a great chance of going deep in the tournament. [It] was unbelievable.”

Kohli said the team preparation was really good. “Three week camp helped us. Have clarity of plans. Know exactly what we want to do on the field. All depends on the mindset. It’s very positive,” he said.