Royal Challengers Bangalore have lost five matches out of eight in the Indian Premier League 2014. Their 32-run defeat against Kings XI Punjab on Friday left skipper Virat Kohli visibly demoralised by the lack of "team effort." (Scorecard | Highlights | Points Table | Schedule)
Bangalore have been inconsistent and their much-acclaimed batting unit has failed to fire. Against Punjab, Kohli felt the side failed collectively. "We did not play as a unit and it has happened in the past," he said after the match. "Punjab were a better side but we paid the price for not playing as a team." (Killer Miller, The New Prince of KXIP)
Chasing 199 for victory, Bangalore batting imploded with Kohli himself failing to open his account. Although his decision was slightly controversial - the ball may have grazed the ground before being caught behind by Wriddhiman Saha, Kohli said winning was all about playing responsibly. "One or two decisions did not go our way and that blocked our momentum. We need to play our cricket more responsibly," he said, adding that the top-order needs to fire urgently. "Our top-order needs to score big. We need a bit of luck and with one win, things can change. It is time to play smart cricket.
With the business end of Indian Premier League approaching, Kohli felt Bangalore need to up their game in order to have a chance of making it to the playoffs. "There is no scope of losing anymore. This can be a blessing in disguise too. There is no room for complacency and we need to pull up our socks."
For Punjab skipper George Bailey though, there was no complacency to be worried about. Sitting at the top of the points table, the Aussie beamed at the post-match presentation. "Very happy with this win and very happy with how our young Indian players are performing," he said. "Sandeep Sharma has done well for us today too and debutant Shivam impressed as well." While Man-of-the-Match Sandeep took three wickets, spinner Shivam, playing in his first game of the season, claimed two to leave Bangalore reeling in the steep run-chase.