Dismissal of Kohli, de Villiers was turning point: RCB’s Iqbal Abdulla

Mumbai, April 21 (IANS) Following their six-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore off-spinner Iqbal Abdulla said the dismissal of the team’s both in-form batsmen Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers in the 11th over was the turning point in the game.

Batting first, Bangalore managed 170/7 in 20 overs. Travis Head (37) was the top scorer for the side.

In reply, leading from the front, skipper Rohit Sharma smashed 62 off just 44 balls. Kieron Pollard’s quick-fire unbeaten 19-ball 39 also helped defending champions Mumbai chase down the total easily as they posted 171/4 with two overs to spare to bag their second win of the season.

As set batsmen Kohli (33) and De Villiers (29) were looking to take on the bowlers, the 11th over of the Bangalore innings saw a big twist in the game. That’s when off-spinner Krunal Pandya dismissed Kohli (caught at long-off) and de Villiers (stumped) to bring Mumbai back into the game.

“Yes, it was the turning point in the match. If your best batsmen gets out, who is delivering well and scoring heavy runs, the effect is bound to be a fall in the performance of the team,” Abdulla said at the post-match press conference at the Wankhede stadium here on Wednesday when asked if the RCB duo getting out was the turning point.

Bangalore made six changes to their side for the clash. Asked what made the team effect so many changes, the 26-year-old said the side might be trying out various options at the start of the tournament and that it’s the skipper that takes such calls.

“We have played just three games; so maybe something is going on in the mind of the skipper. It’s giving opportunity to top players like I got today to perform. So, it depends on the skipper why changes were made,” said Abdulla (3-40), who was the pick of the bowlers for his side.

The left-arm spinner thanked the team’s head coach and off-spin legend Daniel Vettori for constant support and valuable tips.

“I have been playing for eight to nine years; keeping one strong and self-belief is very important at a point of time when batsmen are going after you. You can get hit for a six, but the way how you make a comeback after that ball is very important and it matters,” Abdulla said.

“We have the best left-arm spinner in our team (referring to Vettori), so I am getting a lot of help from him. So I will learn from these sixes hit by the batsmen and eventually put the ball in the right areas later on,” he concluded.

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