One of the moments that stood out in the post-match ceremony of the IPL final was Virat Kohli requesting the presenter (Sanjay Manjrekar) to shift the focus towards the winning team. After setting the tournament on fire with his astonishing batting, the 27-year old’s maturity and class was extended to outside the field as well.
Whilst trying his best to curtail his emotions after the narrow loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the title clash, Kohli felt ‘gutted’ at not being able to lift the trophy in front of an adoring home crowd. However, he remained proud of the attractive brand of cricket which was demonstrated by his team.
During the presentation, a pragmatic Kohli asserted: “Records are meant to be broken. Someone can have a better season than this. If you’re trying for the team, you can achieve it for yourself. I opened the innings, someone batting at number 3 or 4 may not have scored much.”
He added, “The Orange Cap is a nice incentive for the way we’ve gone about this season. It feels nice to have scored more runs than anyone else especially because it helped us reach the final. I knew I was hitting the ball well and I just wanted to keep contributing.”
However, the disappointment could not remain hidden. Kohli lamented, “It doesn’t feel nice to be on the other side of the result. We wanted to do it for the people of Bangalore, gutted we couldn't.”
When asked about the turning point in RCB’s challenge at the imposing total, he believed: “Me and AB (de Villiers) getting out close to each other was a big blow. Had I stayed with AB a bit longer, it could have been different.”
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The star batsman was magnanimous in crediting Sunrisers Hyderabad’s performance in the final. Kohli stated: “I am definitely proud of the way we played as a team, this season. I just want to congratulate the Sunrisers. They deserved to win.”
The finale had been billed as the face-off between the tournament’s best batting lineup and most potent bowling attack. And it turned out to be the difference between the two teams in the end. Praising the Hyderabad bowlers, the right-hander noted: “Why Sunrisers won is because they have a strong bowling attack.”
Having been given a much needed break during June, Kohli will return to action during India’s Test tour to the West Indies.Published 30 May 2016, 01:33 IST