It felt like a home game for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Hyderabad when the vast majority in the crowd continued to chant Virat Kohli's name as the Indian batting superstar put the Sunrisers bowling attack to the sword with a brilliant match-winning hundred on Thursday.
Kohli smashed his way to 100 off 63 balls in a perfect chase as RCB kept itself in playoff contention chasing a target of 187 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Kohli and skipper Faf du Plessis (71) added 172 for the opening stand as RCB won by eight wickets.
The former India captain admitted later that it was amazing to see the support from Hyderabad fans even though the RCB was playing against their team.
”Blessed and grateful for the support. I told Faf that it was like a home game, cheering for RCB and taking my name as well," Kohli said.
"I feel you can’t create this. I haven’t forced anyone to support me. It’s an amazing position to be in that you can provide happiness to so many people.”
Kohli, who registered his sixth IPL hundred, said he couldn’t care less about critics pointing fingers at his strike-rate.
”I never look at past numbers. I put myself under so much stress already. I don’t give myself enough credit sometimes despite playing impact knocks. (So) I don’t care what anyone says on the outside. Because that is their opinion,” said Kohli.
Kohli, who has faced criticism for his mid-130s strike-rate, didn’t forget to remind people how he has shouldered responsibility of his teams in IPL and international cricket.
”When you are in that situation yourself, you know how to win games of cricket. I have done that for a long periods of time, it is not like when I play I don’t win games for my team. I take pride in playing according to the situation,” said Kohli, who was named ‘Player of the Match’.
Kohli, who has often been panned for slowing down at the middle overs, said he would want to remain true to his technique and avoid playing fancy shots.
”I’ve never been a guy who plays so many fancy shots. We have to play 12 months of the year. For me, its not about playing fancy shots and throwing my wicket away. It’s Test cricket (coming up) after the IPL. I have to stay true to my technique and find ways to win games for my team.
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