For Virat Kohli, IPL seems to be synonymous with the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Indian captain has made it quite clear that he would never leave the franchise as it has always been a special feeling to don the RCB jersey.
"To me it has been a most special experience. I don't see myself leaving or playing for any other franchise," Kohli said at an event to launch a new app for the franchise. Over the years, RCB has had big marquee names playing in the side, they have been involved in great games, their fans are vocal and passionate and yet, the side has not won anything. 3 finals, but no silverware and Kohli has been thinking about it - he puts it down to decisions in crunch moments.
"The failure lies where decisions aren't made properly. If I sit here and say our luck was bad, that won't be right. You make your own luck, and if you make poor decisions and the other team makes good ones, you will lose.," Kohli said.
More relaxed sides win the tournament
"When your decision-making is spot on and balanced, those teams win the IPL. The teams that are more relaxed, don't take the pressure too much, and take good decisions in pressure moments - they should get the credit for winning," he added.
Gary Kirsten, who is now the head coach of the side, wants to focus on building a balanced side and including specific players for specific roles. He wants to learn from the mistakes committed in the previous seasons and allowing players to grow in the side.
"We've certainly tried to address that in our recruitment for this year. But as much as sport is about getting the right players on board, we have no clue if someone we've recruited is going to fire in this IPL or not. What we do know is we try to build a balance as best we can, based on learnings from past tournaments," Kirsten said.
Last year, the slogan which accompanied the team was - ee sala cup namde (This year the cup is ours) and even as the side struggled to get going, this slogan became a proper baggage for the side and the captain acknowledged that in hindsight this was not a good move.
"We realised this last year. You shouldn't create an atmosphere even before the tournament has started, that 'We are going to win this year', because there are seven other teams too. You have to be realistic. It's not a one-team dominated tournament," the skipper added.