Royal Challengers Bangalore under Faf du Plessis opened their IPL 2023 campaign with a statement win over five-time champions Mumbai Indians as openers Virat Kohli and Du Plessis combined for a 148-run partnership for the first wicket to help RCB won the game by eight wickets. In the post-match interview, former RCB skipper compared his side with the most successful IPL teams, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
In the post game interview, the 34-year-old Kohli acknowledged Tilak Verma's sensational inning and also lauded Karn Sharma for his 'phenomenal spell'. He said, "We bowled well for the first 17 overs but then credit to their batters especially Tilak who batted really well... I think he (Karn Sharma) was phenomenal, phenomenal spell from him, that's brave bowling after getting the left-hander out."
The former Indian skipper then drew comparison between RCB, five-time champions Mumbai Indians and four-time winners Chennai Super Kings as he reminded the critics about his side's significant IPL stat, who are the third team after MI and CSK to qualify the most times to the playoffs.
Kohli said, "I wanted to mention this for a while - after MI who have 5 titles and CSK who have 4, if I'm not wrong, we are the third team to have qualified the most times to the playoffs - 8 times. Take one game at a time and try to be a balanced side which we are and we would look to execute our plans as we did tonight."
Talking about the game, RCB opted to bowl first after winning the toss and dismissed Mumbai Indians' opening three batsmen in the powerplay, however, lone warriors Tilak Verma (84 off 46) took his side to a reputable total of 171 runs with a loss of seven wickets. Karn Sharma (2/32) and Mohammed Siraj (1/21) stepped up after Reece Topley's injury during the game.
While chasing the target, RCB opener Virat Kohli (82 off 49) and Faf du Plessis (73 off 43) played their natural game with over 160 strike rate each. The South African was named the Player of the Match as the home side won the game by eight wickets at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka.