When asked by Ravi Shastri after the innings how he’d felt at the crease, Kohli said: “Ya, I felt great. A lot of people feel my T20 cricket is declining, but I don’t feel like that at all. I feel I am playing my best T20 cricket again. I’m just enjoying myself, this is how I play T20 cricket. I look to hit gaps, hit a lot of boundaries and the big ones in the end if the situation allows me to.
“Strike rates, all those kind of things like I said in the past as well… You have to read the situation and rise up to the occasion when the situation demands, and that’s something I take a lot of pride in doing, and I’ve been doing it for a while now. I feel really good with my game at the moment and how I’m batting out there in the middle.”
“Spin wasn’t easy to get away and I think the strength of a lot of our fast bowlers is also taking pace off,” Kohli said of the score they finished on and the conditions. “There’s enough in this pitch for our bowlers to make a dent through the [chase], and hitting big shots as you saw in the middle overs wasn’t as easy when the field spread out. So you have to hit a lot of gaps and run twos. If we can cut down those boundaries and now allow them to run twos from those gaps, then it’ll be a very difficult chase.”
But Gill’s unbeaten 104 off 52 made sure that was not the case, knocking RCB out of the tournament as Titans chased down their target in 19.1 overs.
“Obviously very disappointed,” du Plessis said after the game. “You get to the last game of the campaign, you want to make sure you get through. But we played a very strong team tonight, Shubman Gill played an amazing innings to get a hundred. We were a little bit off in one or two areas and when you are playing a team like this, they will capitalise on it.
“The conditions were really wet in the second innings but I think it was also wet in the first innings with a lot of moisture from the rain [which delayed the start by 55 minutes]. So we changed the ball three times, there wasn’t a lot of grip in the second innings. But I thought 195 was a good score, Virat played an unbelievable knock to give us a chance, but we needed that wicket of Shubman to feel like we were really in the game.”
One of the biggest positives for RCB this season was the opening partnership of Kohli and du Plessis. The pair added 939 runs in 14 innings, equalling Kohli and AB de Villiers’ record of most runs by a pair in a T20 tournament, set in IPL 2016.
“He [Kohli] has played really good cricket throughout the season,” du Plessis said, “and as a partnership, I think there was not one game where we didn’t score 40 for the opening stand [they failed to add 40 in four out of 14 innings]. So that was really pleasing for both of us that we got the team off to a really good start. But it just shows you Virat has got a lot left in the tank in T20 cricket; he is playing really well still.”