Refreshed RCB enjoying late rise

NEW ATTITUDE: RCB skipper Virat Kohli (centre) feels a refreshed approach has helped them three successive games. PTI

Royal Challengers Bangalore's campaign appeared totally doomed at the halfway stage following six successive defeats. Under fire from all quarters for a series of poor performances, the team seems to have found a second wind now, winning three matches on the bounce -- against Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab.

The stunning rise has got many people talking about their chances of making the play-offs, which is still possible mathematically if RCB can win their last three games and take their tally to 14 points. 

Captain Virat Kohli was asked about it before and after their latest win, against KXIP on Wednesday. On both the occasions the reply was the same, that the team is not too worried about qualification and they are going to ride the wave until it lasts. 

"We were just looking to enjoy the cricket and tonight was a great example of having fun," said Kohli at the post-match presentation. "The only focus was to play well as a team. Losing six in a row really hurt us. No one in the team has been part of such a streak. So we just refreshed, thought about just enjoying ourselves and the important thing now is not to take on any pressure."

Whether it was pressure, expectations or just poor performance, only RCB players can answer what led to their torrid start. But hitting rock-bottom has actually done wonders to the team. Kohli has hit a century, AB de Villiers has shown why he is dubbed 'Mr 360', Marcus Stoinis has found his range, underfire pacers Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini are beginning to deliver and the positive energy in the camp is there for all to see. While there are still plenty of cracks to paper over and play-off hopes are hanging by the thinnest of threads, the four wins offer a ray of hope. 

Stoinis, who shone with the bat and ball against Punjab, felt cricket is a game of fine margins and RCB are winning games now because of a change in attitude. "In cricket, the type of game that it is, often only little things need to change. When you lose a couple of games sometimes you play not to lose rather than trying to express yourselves. It takes certain individuals to turn that around and we've had a few guys stand up who've made runs and taken wickets.

"We've won some close games as well which has given everyone confidence. We all know we are good players, every player in the IPL knows that they are good players. Every team is good. If you bring the right attitude to the ground every single time then it gives you the best chance of winning."

 

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