Abu Dhabi [UAE], September 21 (ANI): After stumbling to a nine-wicket loss against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Director of Cricket and head coach, Mike Hesson said that skipper Virat Kohli's announcement to step down as skipper after the ongoing season did not impact the team's performance.
Shubman Gill top-scored against RCB with a knock of 48 runs as KKR chased down the target of 93 runs with nine wickets in hand and 60 balls to spare. With this win, Eoin Morgan's side has jumped to the fifth position in the points table while RCB remains static at the third spot. On Sunday, Kohli had announced that he would step down as the RCB captain after the IPL 2021 season.
"I think it was actually to get any form of distraction out early. We talked about making that announcement as soon as possible really, all the players were aware of it. It has not impacted performance against KKR, we were not sharp with the bat, we lost wickets. But I am confident that this group will turn around pretty quickly," said Hesson during a virtual post-match press conference.
For KKR, Venkatesh Iyer also played a knock of 41 runs off just 27 balls while for RCB, Yuzvendra Chahal took the lone wicket.
"The team combination was not the problem today. To be fair, we probably got the toss wrong. It was not a 93-run wicket, we should have been able to get to 150. Whether that would have been enough or not, it is debatable because the ball started to slide down, but we were not sharp enough with the bat," said Hesson.
"AB de Villiers did not have the gloves, we have to look after him. He is an important player for us, he is not one we can risk behind the stumps so that was unfortunate for Rajat as we needed a keeper-bat to do the role for us at number three. To be fair, KS Bharat has been outstanding in the camp and he deserves his inclusion," he added.
Earlier, KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy returned with figures of 3-13 and Andre Russell also picked up three wickets as RCB was bundled out for 92 inside 19 overs. For Virat Kohli's side, Devdutt Padikkal top-scored after playing a knock of 22 runs.
"We were pretty clear in terms of Virat batting at the top, it is a lot harder to start against spin. We are very happy with Devdutt Padikkal and Virat opening the batting for us, high-quality players, left-right combination and KS Bharat can bat anywhere. We were forced for that change with AB de Villiers not keeping," said Hesson.
RCB will next square off against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. (ANI)