Kohli a complete cricketer: Gayle

Kohli a complete cricketer: Gayle

Kohli a complete cricketer: Gayle

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have come to life towards the end of the season. The strength in their batting, which they had been flaunting for the last couple of seasons, is coming to the fore. When the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers fire in unison, it is akin to lightening hitting the opposition. Gautam Gambhir and his boys were left awestruck on Monday night during their nine-wicket defeat at the Eden Gardens.

RCB have revelled in the combined contributions of their three big guns. But Gayle, who returned to form with a blistering knock against KKR, chose to credit Kohli and De Villiers for the resurgence. The West Indian described the batting of his colleagues as ‘Superman’ and ‘Batman’ after their team chased down KKR’s strong total of 183/5 with eight balls to spare.

"It's like Batman and Superman," Gayle said. "They are in the form of their life. They are doing a phenomenal job for the team. It's just fantastic. They were batting in a pressure situation as well. "Kohli leading from the front is even more fantastic. It's been a great team performance so far and those guys have played their part in all 12 games," he said.

The left-hander made a brisk 31-ball 49 before Kohli and  De Villiers took over with their 115-run stand, their fifth partnership of more than 100 runs in this edition of IPL.

Kohli also surpassed Gayle's tally (733) of most runs in a single IPL season with his unbeaten 75. The Indian Test captain has now amassed a total of 752 runs from 12 games at an average of 83.55. Gayle called Kohli a complete cricketer.

"I must congratulate him on achieving this. Two more games and may be he can get 900 runs. If we qualify for the playoffs, 1000 as well, who knows. It's always about determination. He's a person who is never satisfied. He always wants to get better, which is good,” Gayle said.

"It always isn't about power hitting. It's about right shot selection and he's very fit as well. He throws himself around the field. (He's a) complete cricketer."

Gayle was happy to be among runs on Monday and called Eden Gardens his happy hunting ground. "It's cricket. We, as players, know what's required. It's basic stuff, you keep it as simple as possible. The captain asks me to play fearless cricket. Even though you might be a big player, sometimes you need a reminder as well about how good you are. I'm more happy about the fans today. Nothing has been big so far, so you have to accept the 49,” he said.

"I do like playing cricket here (at Eden Gardens). It was once my home ground and I know the conditions well. We won the World T20 here, so it has been a fantastic ground. It's a happy hunting ground for me and I'm happy to be among runs."

The Bengaluru outfit got significant support here with the venue witnessing one of its largest attendances. “We have a huge fan base and they love to see fours and sixes. So when we are playing away, it's always like playing back home."

KKR spinner Shakib Al Hasan admitted they were outclassed by RCB. "The quality they have, I don't think we could have done much. We tried everything but they played better cricket. We had plans for every single batsman but plans don’t work always,” he said.