Calm Kohli expects IPL challenge from RCB

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Calm Kohli expects IPL challenge from RCB

NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli says he has ‘never felt so calm’ going into an Indian Premier League season as the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper chases an elusive title in the Twenty20 tournament.

The Kohli-led Bangalore finished runners-up in the 2016 edition but have since disappointed and were bottom of the eight-team table last year.

But the world’s leading ODI batsman expects a turnaround from a team containing big names such as South Africa’s explosive A.B. de Villiers and Australia’s big-hitting white ball skipper Aaron Finch.

“I [have] never felt so calm going into a season before,” Kohli said during an interview posted on his side’s YouTube channel on Monday ahead of the tournament beginning Sept 19 in the United Arab Emirates.

Kohli has captained Bangalore since 2013 and said the tournament being played outside India because of coronavirus meant his side would be ‘disconnecting with things that have happened in the past and not taking that baggage, as we have done that way too many times’.

“Just because we have a bunch of players that are so skilled… people have had so much expectation,” he admitted.

Bangalore’s other imported talent includes South African pace bowler Chris Morris and little known Australian wicket-keeper/batsman Josh Philippe.

“Morris brings in a lot of balance,” said Kohli. “Some of the youngsters we have picked this time are quite exciting too like Josh Philippe, a very exciting player.”