Rajasthan Royals beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 30 runs to keep their playoff hopes alive
Shreyas Gopal: Obviously feels great. We knew this game was a pressure game for us. Actually both the teams. It feels even better that the team needed me and I performed. I would not have been feeling half as better had the team lost. You can never have a set plan for someone like ABD. So, I was a bit shocked. There was a little bit of help from the wicket. There was a little bit of spin. I kept it at the wickets and relied on my googly and flipper as much as I could. We are like brothers now (when asked about Ish Sodhi). I keep picking his brains. He is wonderful with the way he puts in an effort with every ball that he bowls. There are a lot of things that I can learn from him.
Ajinkya Rahane: Definitely much needed victory for us. We knew that 160 would be very difficult on this wicket. Though RCB had a very good batting line up. Credit goes to our bowlers. Under pressure, the two leggies did really well. Getting wickets in the middle overs was never easy. I think the intent was to go positive from the start. We felt Jofra at the top of the order could give us a positive start and with me at 3, Samson at 4 and Klaasen at 5 our batting order would have looked deeper. It was important to play good cricket. This evening was very special. It was more about focusing on the things that we could control. Klaasen’s innings was really good and Rahul’s innings at the top was magnificent. It is important to enjoy this win and stay calm.
Virat Kohli, RCB captain: “Yeah, it was a strange one. We were in a great position. 75/1, and the way we were bundled out wasn’t ideal. Someone like AB who can hit fours and sixes was knocking it around so the others didn’t support him and apply themselves properly. We needed more smart decision-making there. These things should be repeated by 5-6 guys in a row. We wanted to strengthen the middle-order which hasn’t happened, it hasn’t been our strength and we need to do that going into the next few seasons. We need to be smarter with composing our team. The responsibility cannot be taken up only by AB all the time. He certainly scored runs, but others need to contribute around him, and didn’t show enough composure. There were some new players who did well. Umesh bowled extremely well with the new ball, Chahal was great, Siraj and Moeen contributed too, so plenty of positives to take into the next season. However, after cruising at 75/1 it was disappointing that we couldn’t finish it off well. I would like to wish all the other teams the best of luck for the remainder of the competition.”