Ahead of the opening game of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season against Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli said that he expects a great game against the defending champions and added that the side will focus on their skills and strength.
The 14th edition of the IPL will commence on Friday with rivals Mumbai Indians locking horns with Kohli-led RCB at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
"I truly believe that we have to focus on our skills and our strengths as a side. Mumbai, obviously, is a champion team they know how to win this competition, we know the strength of their team so if focus too much on that then we are not gonna focus on what we can do. At the end of the day, you are playing cricket which is played on the day in the moment and you could be better than any other guy in the world at that moment," Kohli said in a video posted by the RCB on their official Twitter handle.
"Coming up against Mumbai is always an exciting challenge. Last year, we had two exciting games and we won one and they won the second one which was obviously close and they came through because they have such a strong team. The first one was a cliff-hanger as well big scores and Super Over. We expect a great game to start off the IPL. I can't think of a more exciting or highly skilled intense game to start off the IPL," he added.
RCB's star player AB de Villiers added that with some new faces in the squad it will a tough game for Mumbai Indians to get over the line. "We all are very excited and Mumbai Indians are fantastic. We know we are up against experienced players in the line-up so do we, I'm very excited to see what we made off. We got some new faces this year, good experience with them. Daniel Christian, Maxwell coming into the set-up Dan Sams, Kane Richardson. I can name all the guys. I know it is a tough game first up but I think it is going to be tough for Mumbai as well," De Villiers said.
RCB support staff also look forward to the game against the five-time champion side Mumbai.
"We know we have to play well, we got some good match-ups against them. Last year, we played nicely against them and it was 1-1. We hit our opportunities in both games so we look forward to that," Director of Cricket Mike Hesson said.
"Everyone is pumped and ready to go. We had a good week in Chennai and managed to get the most out of our boys. Really good feel, a lot of energy. There is always excitement for the first game of the IPL. Boys are gonna be up playing against Mumbai," head coach Simon Katich added.