Even though Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) finished at the seventh spot in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), skipper Virat Kohli believes it was not a bad season for the team due to their performance in the second half of the tournament.
RCB lost their first six matches and were by then almost down and out of the contention to make it to the playoffs. However, they came out with a much improved performance in the second half of the tournament, winning five of their last eight games.
"If we focus on the second half, it is exactly what we wanted in the first half. After losing your first six matches, it is very difficult to come back in a tournament like IPL," said Kohli after Saturday's game where RCB defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their final group stage game at the Chinnaswamy.
"We haven't finished in the position that we wanted to. But because the second half has been so good, it doesn't feel like a bad season. We won last five off our seven matches and with one no-result, something that we can be proud of," he added.
The RCB skipper also said that his team has a lot to learn from this season. "The first couple of things matters a lot in setting the intensity."
"We are happy with the way guys have turned things around and the kind of cricket that we have played in the second half. A lot of credit goes to the team management for getting us back in the right frame of mind," he said.
He also assured fans that RCB will come out with a much-improved performance in the next IPL season.
"I can certainly feel your (fans) pain. I am emotionally attached to this team like all of you. And next year we will definitely improve our performance," he insisted.
On Saturday, RCB rode on blistering half-centuries by Shimron Hetmyer and Gurkeerat Singh Mann as they registered a four-wicket win over SRH and kept the Orange Army's dream of advancing to the playoffs uncertain.
Chasing a 176-run target, it was the crucial 144-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Hetmyer (75 off 47) and Gurkeerat (65 off 48) as Bangalore ended their campaign on a winning note.
"Every time you turn up, you like an element of control. At the halfway stage it felt like we set a competitive total. Credit to Bangalore for the way they stuck out and kept coming hard at us," said SRH captain Kane Williamson.
He added it would have been nice had they got 10-15 runs more in their first innings.
"It would've been nice to get 10-15 runs in the first innings, but credit to Bangalore for keeping up the pressure," he added.
Hyderabad can qualify for the playoffs if Mumbai Indians beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their final encounter to be played on Sunday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.