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IPL Staff in Dubai 16 April 2014 - 09:32pm IST

We will do well this season: Kohli

Royal Challengers captain positive ahead of team’s opener against DD

At the centre of the pitch at the ICC cricket Academy in Dubai, Yuvraj Singh was seen receiving throw downs from one of the Royal Challengers Bangalore support staff. He cleared his right leg, made room and dispatched a few balls out of the park with ease. A little while later, he tried his hand at gentle nudges and the reverse-sweep. He looked relaxed and comfortable, and sent the next few balls soaring beyond the ropes, which was a treat to the eye.

“Yuvraj is very happy playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.” captain Virat Kohli said. “He is very happy with the kind of environment which is there in the squad. He is loving it. I have spoken to him personally as well and he is excited to go out there and perform. I feel he is going to be the X-factor for RCB this season.”

Like Yuvraj Singh, there are a lot of new players drafted into the team and Kohli was happy that his side had bonded well over the last few days.
“It is a new phase for RCB, there are only few players from last year who are in the team and there are a lot of new players. The guys have gelled pretty quickly and it is a relaxed environment. I am really excited to have all these new faces in the team and looking forward to this season. I have a strong feeling that we are going to do well in this season and I hope we go a few steps further and do well in the competition. “

The Royal Challengers meet a Kevin Pietersen-less Delhi Daredevils team at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Kohli was of the view that his side would hold a slight advantage because of Pietersen sitting out due to a finger injury.

“Kevin Pietersen is a very dangerous player. It would be an advantage for us that he won’t be playing tomorrow’s game because we know how destructive he can be. I am sure he will be very eager to step on the field and perform for the Delhi Daredevils. But we cannot count out the other players in the Daredevils team. We will take every player in their side seriously.”

When asked if his side was batting heavy and lacked depth in the bowling department, Kohli said. “We have a great combination of bowlers. We have good spinners and fast bowlers. The squad is looking really nice. We used to rely on the top three mostly while batting in the previous seasons, but the good thing is we have Yuvraj Singh at the middle order and Albie Morkel, which is a huge bonus for us. The batting looks much stronger. I am personally happy with our batting because that way we can be relaxed and express ourselves rather than playing under pressure. We have a balanced side.”

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