Virat Kohli was not entirely pleased with the pitch on offer at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium after Royal Challengers Bangalore were bowled out for 70 and lost the opening match of IPL 2019 to defending champions Chennai Super Kings by 7 wickets. However, Kohli credited CSK and said the hosts deserved to win.
It was a slow pitch which greeted both teams for the season opener. Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir picked 3 wickets apiece to blow RCB away. Chennai Super Kings took their time and brought up victory in the 18th over.
However, Kohli said it was good to game the game out of the way and reckoned RCB would be ready to do better and appeared happy with the way his bowlers fought against a formidable batting line-up.
“No one wants to start like this, but it’s good to get a game like this out of the way – this early in the tournament,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“We spoke of trying to be in the game, taking it to the 18th over was nice to see. The batting wasn’t good, it wasn’t easy to bat on, looked much better surface though, I thought 140-150 would have been an ideal score, especially with dew expected later on.
“A scrappy start to the league, but I don’t think either team had control over it, the pitch was under the covers for 4 days, but we should have batted better, 110-120 would have been a fighting score. He (Saini) has been good in conditions where there’s some grass, got his chance now. I thought CSK played really well, they deserved to win, but I loved to see our team fighting all the way,” he said.
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen were clueless against Chennai Super Kings’ spinners. Virat Kohli, Moeen Ali and AB de Villiers fell to Harbhajan Singh. Imran Tahir also mesmerised RCB picking up 3 for 9 off his 4 overs.
Ravindra Jadeja bowled brilliantly too and pocketed 2 for 15 off his 4 overs.
RCB equalled their own record for the 6th lowest IPL total when they were bowled out for 70. They were dismissed for the same score against Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi in 2014.
RCB are now the only team to be dismissed below 100 in the opening game of an IPL season twice. In the first ever IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 18, 2008, RCB were bowled out for 82 when they were set 223 after Brendon McCullum’s sensational 73-ball 158 not out.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will be desperate to put things right after the crushing defeat in Chennai. RCB had reached the final in 2016 but their fortunes dipped in the two following seasons.
In 2017, RCB finished last in the points table after winning only 3 out of 14 matches. Last year, RCB managed to win 6 out of 14 matches and finished 6th in the points table.