Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday said that he’s ‘excited to play the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the country again. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the previous edition of the tournament was held in the UAE in the September-November window.
As RCB is gearing up to play the season opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians on April 9, Kohli said he’s ‘optimistic’ to turn things this time around.
“It feels surreal. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like we went away for too long as there was a lot of cricket in between as well but yeah, very excited that we are playing in India again,” said Kohli in a video posted on RCB’s Twitter.
“Although in a different way, in a different setting. I am very optimistic and yes I have a good feeling this time around,” he added.
Kohli, who has been with the RCB since the inception of the IPL in 2008, quit the bio-bubble in Pune on Monday after India’s ODI series win against England. He’ll now serve a seven-day quarantine.
As per BCCI’s SOPs for IPL 2021, all players (except for those from the India-England series), support staff, and management entering the bubble need to undergo a seven-day quarantine in their hotel rooms.
Star batsman AB de Villiers also feels that the side can carry on the winning momentum from last year’s tournament. RCB is one of the three active franchises in the Indian Premier League which are yet to lift the title. Last year, the RCB reached the playoff stage of the tournament but were defeated by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator.
“It was a long journey. Very happy to be back with RCB, it feels like yesterday that we finished the IPL. I feel we have the momentum from the last tournament and we’ll have a lot of fun,” said de Villiers.
“There are some new names but also old names, the people I have known for ages. Dan (Christian) has been with RCB before, it’s Maxi’s (Maxwell) first time but we all have seen him so often in the IPL, hopefully, a lot of games for us to win together,” he added.