Virat Kohli heaped praise on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate AB de Villiers, calling him the "best in the world" after the South Africa star came up with a match-winning knock against Delhi Daredevils in the 19th match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season Saturday, April 21.
Kohli acknowledged De Villiers' ability to change the complexion of matches with his "brilliance" and said his teammate helped bring back the smiles in the RCB camp, which had been looking for answers after a poor start to their IPL campaign.
The Bangalore-based franchise was reeling at the seventh spot on the points table with just one win from four games before Saturday's match despite assembling one of the most balanced sides they have ever had.
Daredevils' wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant's 48-ball 85 only added to RCB's pressure as the visitors posted 174 on what seemed to be a slow wicket.
AB gives us a lot of happy memories: Kohli
Early wickets did not help RCB's cause but De Villiers walked in and swung the momentum in the hosts' favor in a matter of few overs.
The 34-year-old made sure he took the attack to the Daredevils' spinners on the M Chinnaswamy Stadium track, which offered a lot of turn and steered the team out of trouble by stitching a 63-run stand with Kohli.
De Villiers smashed an unbeaten 90, including five sixes and 10 boundaries, in just 39 balls as RCB gunned down the target with 12 balls to spare.
"When you have brilliance like that in the team, he makes you smile and gives you a lot of happy memories," Kohli said during the post-match presentation ceremony.
"He [De Villiers] comes in an changes the whole complexion of the game, that the way he plays. That's why he is the best in the world, he added.
"We understand situations, understand each other's games well. He started off in a great way, my job then became to stick it out, string in a 65-70 run partnership and then the opposition know they have to protect the game, rather than going for a win.
"It was a pity I couldn't stay till the end, but Corey [Anderson] and Mandy [Mandeep Singh] did really well to support him. They kept taking singles with positive intent and that is great to see."
Kohli relieved after getting two crucial points
Meanwhile, Kohli rated his knock on Saturday (26-ball 30) better than the unbeaten 92 he smashed in a losing cause against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday, April 17.
He also highlighted the importance of the two points they were able to collect at home where they will be playing their next three matches on the trot.
With Saturday's win, RCB leapfrogged Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals to the fifth spot in the points table.
"I think the 30 runs tonight is much better than the 90 I got in the last game. Two points are very crucial for us at this stage. We really thought about how to go about it, and we still have a few areas."