Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli expressed supreme confidence in the Sri Lankan recruits Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera, who’s services they will enjoy in the second part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in the United Arab Emirates.
The Lankan stars came in as replacements for the Australian duo of Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, who played the first leg but decided to skip the second phase due to personal reasons.
“We have made changes, we’ve got a few replacements. Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa who were with us in the first leg, made a decision not to play in the second leg for reasons which are absolutely understandable.
“The replacements we have got for those guys are two players who know these conditions, the conditions in the sub continent around this time are similar,” Kohli said at the unveiling of team’s blue jersey.
All-rounder Hasaranga has been particularly impressive for Sri Lanka in the shortest format this year, having picked 20 wickets in 12 T20Is so far and is fourth on the list of most wickets in 2021. Chameera has been slightly ordinary with 15 wickets in 12 games but has an outstanding strike rate of 16.4.
Kohli said both players will be able to add a new dimension to the RCB squad in the remainder of the tournament.
“Wanidu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera have played so much cricket in Sri Lanka and know how to play in pitches like these. There skill sets will be of huge help to us.
“We haven’t spoken at all on what we have missed out on because players have pulled out. We feel stronger, the new additions have given us a new dimension,” Kohli added.
RCB are currently placed third in the league table, having won five of their seven matches but the skipper said the team will start the second phase with the same passion and commitment they showed in April-May.
“Having played the game for so long at this level you understand that whether you are seven wins in a row you have to start the eighth with the same passion and commitment and professionalism.
“Whether you have no wins out of five games you still have to find motivation and the passion inside to go out and change the result. You can’t take anything for granted.
RCB are slated to take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday in Abu Dhabi and the Kohli-led RCB players will be wearing blue jerseys resembling the colour of the PPE kits of frontline warriors.
These signed jerseys will be auctioned and the proceeds will be used for free vaccination among lesser privileged communities in India.