Gayle: Virat and AB are like Batman and Superman

"Those two guys are playing like Batman and Superman. They are in the form of their lives, especially Kohli. They should continue pressing the gas, don't ease up and fill their boots with as much runs as possible. They are doing a phenomenal job for RCB," Chris Gayle said.

Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have scored 1349 runs from 12 matches for RCb this season.   -  K. Murali Kumar

After Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers produced yet another match-winning effort yesterday night against Kolkata Knight Riders, Chris Gayle compared them to superheroes, Batman and Superman.

“Those two guys are playing like Batman and Superman. They are in the form of their lives, especially Kohli. They should continue pressing the gas, don't ease up and fill their boots with as much runs as possible. They are doing a phenomenal job for RCB,” Gayle said in the post-match media conference.

With 1349 runs from 12 matches, Kohli and de Villiers seem unstoppable and are the top-two leading run-getters of the ninth season.

Their amazing form has swung the fortunes of RCB, who routed two-time champions KKR by nine wickets.

Carrying forward their stellar show in Bangalore where they ran riot with a record 229-run partnership in their colossal 144-run win over Gujarat Lions, Kohli (75 not out) and de Villiers (59 not out) made short work of KKR's 183 for five to romp home with eight balls to spare.

“It's fantastic, they (Kohli and de Villiers) are batting under pressure as well. Credit must go to both of them. Kohli leading from the front is even better. Overall, it's a great team effort. Those guys may have contributed in all the 12 games so far. Hopefully, they can continue and put us in winning position.”

With three centuries and five fifties in his tally of 752 runs, Kohli now has scored the most runs in an IPL season, breaking Gayle’s record of 733 runs in 2012.

Describing Kohli as a complete cricketer, Gayle said the Indian Test captain should go past 1000-mark.

“I must congratulate him to achieve such a thing in IPL so far. With two more games, maybe he can get close to 1000 runs. And who knows (what will happen) if we make the play offs...”

“It’s always about determination. He (Kohli) is a person who is never satisfied. He always actually wants to better his last performance which is good. For any batsman wanting to better your last performance, you keep building on that especially when you’re in a good form, capitalise on that and cash in on as much as possible,” Gayle said.

“He’s a doing a great job. It is not always about power-hitting, but it is about right timing, shot selection. He is very fit as his running between the wickets bears testimony and while on the field as well. He is a complete cricketer,” he added.

RCB is fifth in the IPL table and would need to win its remaining matches against Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils to keep its hopes alive.

Asked if his team can make it to the next stage, Gayle said: “Inshallah (God willing)… Hopefully we win the next two games which is very important for us. The rest will take care of itself.

“We just need to come out and keep firing in these two games and then we actually see where we end up. If we do get to sneak into the play-offs there will be danger for other teams.”

The RCB opener also returned to form with a 31-ball 49 that set up the chase before the AB-Kohli show and Gayle said he was happy for the fans.

“I’m more happy for the fans today rather than Chris Gayle getting those runs. I’m glad to be back among runs.

Something small but you have to accept that nothing has been big so far.”

The packed crowd at Eden Gardens yesterday chanted ‘RCB, RCB’ and Gayle said it wasn’t surprising to see them do that.

“I’m not surprised at all. We have a huge fan base wherever we travel. They love seeing sixes and fours. So you always get support when playing in away so it actually feels being at home as well. It’s fantastic from the fans all these years.”

“I do like playing cricket here. This was once my home ground. I know the conditions well. We actually won the World Twenty20 here as well. It’s a fantastic ground, a place where you can call it a home ground to be honest. I’m happy to be among the runs today,” the former KKR batsman said.

Gayle was not among runs in this season and his scores in the five outings for RCB before the one yesterday read a sorry 1, 0, 7, 5, 6, and was undergoing a lean phase since his 100 not out versus England in the World Twenty20 in Mumbai exactly two months back.

“It’s cricket. You maybe a big player but sometime you need a bit of reminder as well how good you’re. There’s always been ups and down in cricket and life as well. You just try to reborn as quickly as possible.”

“We all as players know what’s required. You back someone when he’s not getting his actual performance going, and when he actually needs it as well. It’s basic stuff. You keep it simple as much as possible and play fearless cricket, keep stamping your authority which is very important as well.”

He said the pitch was a batting friendly.

“It didn’t assist the spinners as much. It was a good batting wicket actually. The new ball did not swing as much. There wasn’t any huge turn. It was a good wicket. 180 was always chaseable on this sort of wicket.”

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