NEW DELHI: Time may be running out of Royal Challengers Bangalore, but AB de Villiers believes the franchise is still capable of turning its fortunes around. The South African, who missed the game against Mumbai Indians, which RCB won by 14 runs to keep their hopes alive in the tournament, feels that his side is yet to deliver their best. With their back against the wall, now may be an ideal time for the Virat Kohli-led team to come into its own.
“The last four days have been a blur I have been suffering from severe viral flu, one of the most debilitating illnesses I have ever experienced. Aside from one visit to the hospital, I have barely left my hotel room. Sleep has been almost impossible, and the migraine headaches have been extreme,” De Villiers wrote in Friday’s column for TOI.
“The good news is that my condition is now improving every day and, as the aches ease and I start to get some proper sleep, we are very hopeful that I will be available for selection to play in RCB’s next match, against CSK in Pune on Saturday. With a record of having won three and lost five in eight matches, we are now lying fifth in the table, still very much in contention, still keenly aware that we have not yet consistently performed to our potential, and still believing our best cricket is yet to come.
“It was frustrating for me to miss two home matches at the Chinnaswamy, but I was able to follow both games on television… even if, to be honest, most of the time, it was only possible to watch with one eye open because of the throbbing pain in my head.”
RCB, fifth in the leaderboard, with six points from eight matches, are at a stage where they need to win all their remaining matches. The equation gets even tougher considering the fact that in their next encounter they run into a rampaging Chennai Super Kings on Saturday, who quite clearly have been the most consistent side and are placed in the top two with 12 points from eight games.
“There is a real sense of fight and determination in this RCB squad. We might have underperformed at stages, notably in the closing overs with bat and ball, but I sensed a strong spirit among players and coaches when we assembled a few weeks ago; it’s still there, and this will serve us well in the business end of the tournament,” De Villiers wrote.
With de Villiers all but likely to feature in the match, hopes would be high of him. He has set the tournament ablaze with 280 runs in six matches.