Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli has recalled his discussion with the management when they retained only him before the 2011 auction as well. In the first three seasons of the IPL, RCB qualified for the knockouts twice and nearly won the title in 2009.
The veteran talked about how he asked to be made the No.3 batter in the team after batting at No.5 in the first few IPL seasons as well.
While speaking on the RCB podcast, Kohli said: “I felt great; I did not shy away from it. I remember we were playing the Champions League in South Africa and Ray Jennings and Siddharth Mallya approached me, said that they were looking to retain only me, and that they were looking to build a whole new squad around me.”
He continued: “I said that’s great, and that’s the opportunity I am looking for. I told them very clearly there’s only one condition that I will bat at No.3 and nowhere else. They said fair enough. I knew I can do something special for the team. I had no problem accepting the responsibility.”
However, RCB bought the likes of AB de Villiers, Daniel Vettori, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Zaheer Khan in the auction. Moreover, they roped in Chris Gayle as a replacement for the injured Dirk Nannes. While speaking on the frustration of not being able to bat at the No.3 position despite having batted at the same spot in the Indian team, Kohli shared his views on this.
Virat Kohli said: “The first three years in the IPL, I always had the belief that I could do something special. I felt like the composition of the team, while they were amazing players, and rightly so in the right positions, I was not able to play in the position that was my strength.”
“For the first 3 years, it was on and off, a performance here and a performance there. It was not as free-flowing and consistent as I would have liked it to be. I was playing No.3 for India, and I was not getting to do it for RCB in the IPL. It was a bit of a strange situation for me, because I felt like I could replicate my India performances here and maybe better,” Virat Kohli concluded.