After the second half we have had, it doesn’t feel like a bad season: Kohli

After losing the first six games, RCB won five out of the eight remaining matches — one was a washout — to end with 11 points.

Virat Kohli

"We are so grateful to have fans like you all. I can feel your pain. I am emotionally attached to this team like all of you. And next year we will definitely improve our performance. Thanks again for coming out in huge numbers," said Kohli after RCB's win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.   -  Getty Images

Perennial underachiever Royal Challengers Bangalore endured another disappointing IPL campaign but skipper Virat Kohli has drawn positives from his team's performance in the second half of the season.

After losing the first six games, RCB won five out of the eight remaining matches — one was a washout — to end with 11 points.

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“If we focus on the second half, it is exactly what we wanted in the first half. After losing your first six matches, it is very difficult to come back in a tournament like the IPL. We have a lot to learn from this season,” said Kohli after RCB beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets here on Saturday.

“The first couple of things matters a lot in setting the intensity. We are happy with the way guys have turned things around and the kind of cricket that we have played in the second half. A lot of credit goes to the team management for getting us back in the right frame of mind.”

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RCB, which has never won the IPL, failed to make the playoffs for the third year in a row but Kohli said he was proud of his team for putting up a much-improved performance.

“We haven’t finished in the position that we wanted to. But because the second half has been so good it doesn’t feel like a bad season. We won the last 5 of our 7 matches and with one no-result, it is something that we can be proud of. It is such a short format that often 5 or 7 minutes decide the outcome,” he said.

Taking about the game against Sunrisers, Kohli praised the efforts of Shimron Hetmyer and Gurkeerat Singh Mann, who smashed blistering half-centuries.

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“We know Hetmyer can play like that. We would like Hetty to play like he did today next year. And Gurkeerat played a really mature innings. He has a keen eye for the game.”

Kohli also thanked the RCB fans for their unwavering support. “I just want to tell all the people in the stadium that it has been such a long time playing at this venue and every year we come, the support is better. Hats-off to you guys for turning up in numbers.

“We are so thankful and so grateful to have fans like you all. I can certainly feel your pain. I am emotionally attached to this team like all of you. And next year we will definitely improve our performance and give you guys what you deserve in return. Thanks again for coming out in huge numbers. You are the best fans in the IPL,” added Kohli.