Hasaranga and Chameera were signed by RCB after the Australian pair of Adam Zampa and Daniel Sams made themselves unavailable for the second half of IPL 2021.
Speaking at a virtual press conference on Saturday, Kohli asserted that Hasaranga and Chameera’s selection will boost the RCB in the UAE. The skipper said:
"Adam Zampa and Richardson were with us in the first leg but they decided to not play in the second essay for the reasons absolutely understandable. The replacements we have got are Wanidu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera."
"They have played so much cricket for Sri Lanka and they understand how to play on pitches like these and their skillsets will be of huge help for us, playing in Dubai and how the wicket will play out they know everything. We feel stronger as the new additions have given us few other dimensions."
RCB had a good run in the first half of IPL 2021, winning five of their seven matches. Both the batting and bowling prospered. However, according to experts, the break in momentum may hamper RCB in the second half. Kohli, though, did not agree with that view. He countered:
"We had a great start to the first half of IPL 2021. We know that we can play a certain brand of cricket as we have shown in the first leg with consistent performances. Whether you have seven wins in the row, you have to start the eighth game with the same passion. And if you have no wins in five games which we have experience as a team, you still have to find motivation. You just cannot afford to take things for granted."
In their last match before the tournament was halted in India, RCB went down to PBKS by 34 runs, faltering in a chase of 180.
“The spirit, the camaraderie was absolutely the same” - Kohli on rejoining RCB contingent
After IPL 2021 was suspended, the Indian players headed to England for a long red-ball tour. Following the cancellation of the final Test in Manchester, Kohli and Mohammed Siraj recently returned to India and rejoined the RCB camp.
Speaking on the experience of coming out of quarantine and resuming training with the franchise, Kohli stated:
"When after quarantine I stepped out, yesterday to practice, I did not feel we went away at all. I felt like this is just an extension of where we left. The spirit, the camaraderie was absolutely the same and the excitement could be felt in the air. I was very happy to see such a relaxed environment.”
RCB will resume their IPL 2021 campaign by taking on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Abu Dhabi on September 20.