Captain is confident of RCB going the distance this season
Captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday said he remains as motivated and committed as ever to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore to a maiden Indian Premier League title.
RCB have been the perennial under-achievers of the competition, failing to go all the way despite reaching the final thrice. It all went wrong for them last season when they finished last.
"More than the fans I want to win the cup. I have been with Bangalore for last 10 years and we haven't crossed the final hurdle three times. I can assure you, my commitment is going to be 120 per per cent to try and achieve the goal this time," said Kohli after a training session in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
RCB have been short on batting firepower and Kohli feels this time the team has a good bowling line-up too.
"The batting has been strong point for RCB over the years, but I think the strengthening of the bowling department has been a massive boost for us from this auction. I am very optimistic about our chances heading into this IPL," said the skipper.
The franchise has a solid spin department comprising Yuvzendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Murugan Ashwin, Pawan Negi and England all-rounder Moeen Ali.
There are plenty of pace options too in the presence of Umesh Yadav, England all-rounder Chris Woakes, Delhi's Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Siraj and New Zealander Tim Southee.
On new players bought in the auction, Kohli said they are very excited to be part of RCB and he had the joy of playing with some of them.
"Some of them I know personally. We picked up players who could contribute to our culture and not be so worried about their personal performances," he said.
On Gary Kirsten as part of the coaching staff, Kohli said the South African could massively help the players.
"This was discussed before the auctions. I thought it could be a great opportunity for young players to spend time with Gary, since I too benefitted massively from him in my early in my career (when he was India coach). I certainly became a better cricketer (with Gary's inputs)," he said.
The star batsman said he had a great working relationship with Kirsten.
“I had a great working relationship with Gary. In terms of the batting group operating, I think he is the ideal man to supervise things. Gary is good at it because he has the ability to keep the batting group together at the international level, just how he did it with the Indian cricket team.
"Having so many big names in the team and how he got everyone together and the team spirit going, I think that was an outstanding factor as far as I saw it," Kohli said.
After taking a three-week break, Kohli has been training non-stop for last 12 days and feels he is getting close to his peak.
"I am definitely at 100 per cent now, 110 is what I prefer and that 10 will take a little more time," he said.
Kohli said the break was refreshing after a gruelling South Africa tour.
"Three weeks without even looking at my kit bag or bats was a weird feeling. At the back of your mind, you are never out of the game.
"Keeping a check on cricket played around the world, kept me involved in cricket," he added.