Mohammed Siraj thanked skipper Virat Kohli for giving him the new ball as the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer produced a devastating spell and helped his team thrash Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by eight wickets.
Siraj recorded match figures of 4-2-8-3 as RCB chased down a small total of 85 in 13.3 overs to jump to the second position in the points table.
"First I want to thank Allah for my performance. Then thanks to Virat for giving me the new ball. I have been practising a lot with the new ball. We hadn't planned that I will open but when we went out, Virat bhai said Miyan ready ho jao . (get ready). The ball to Rana was very good. Executed exactly what I had planned," Siraj who was bagged the Man of the Match, said at the post-match presentation.
Winning skipper Virat Kohli said that it was a late call to hand Siraj the new ball but is happy with the way the fast bowler performed.
"It was a late call to be honest (to give Siraj the new ball). Was thinking of giving Washy (Washington Sundar). I obviously have thought about the things we can do on the field. Management have brought in a proper culture. We have plan A, we have plan B, and people are executing it that's why it's looking good. Don't think lot of people have belief in RCB. Guys in the change room do and that's all that matters. Can have the best players in the world but if you don't have the belief it's no good," Kohli said.
RCB's bowling has stood out this time with Chris Morris leading from the front and the skipper had a word of praise.
" Morris is loving the responsibility. He likes to be in a leadership role in the team. Even against Kings, he tried to york Gayle. His energy is amazing. A great, great addition to our squad. Last year he had a tough year. Lot of people went hard at him. But he worked hard. He's seeing the result now and we want him to continue," Kohli said.
'Should have bowled first'
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan conceded that his team should have bowled first after winning the toss.
"Being 4/5 down early on isn't the position we wanted to be in. RCB bowled well and probably looking at the conditions, we should have bowled first. We will learn our lessons and move in in the next game. It was a question of backing the young Indian guys who showed glimpses of talent and potential. They (RCB bowlers) managed to exploit anything that was on offer and given the nature of the tournament every time you have to be at your best against every team," Morgan said.
Kolkata went into the match without the services of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine and Morgan said the duo will be available, going forward.
"Hopefully they (Narine and Russell) will be available around the corner and we know when guys of that calibre, particularly all-rounders are available, things will be different. Hopefully, they will be available soon," he said.
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