Royal Challengers Bangalore were handed a five-wicket loss by the four-time champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The loss came at a very crucial juncture for RCB as the Virat Kohli led side need to win their remaining two games to qualify for the play-off stages on their own.
But above all that the defeat must have left a bitter taste in Kohli's mouth as the side looked in control twice in the match only to see MI players in Jasprit Bumrah (3 wickets for 14 runs) and Suryakumar Yadav (45-ball 80 knock) to take the game away from them.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Kohli admitted MI bowlers choked them for runs in the death overs with just 35 runs coming in the last five.
"It was a strange phase of batting (the last five overs of the RCB innings). Everything went to the fielders and these kind of things happen. They bowled in good areas in the last 5 overs and stopped us 20 runs short," Kohli said.
Defending the 165, Kohli felt they were in the game till the 17th over but felt when you are facing a big side like MI, things get intense.
"When it's a top-two clash, it will always be intense and in a competition like the IPL, you can't expect any team to back down and be blown away," he said.
When asked why he played Dale Steyn for the game, who proved costly with 43 runs in four overs, Kohli said he wanted to take advantage of the initial swings but MI batsmen were better on the night.
"It's basically up to the gut of the captain and the conditions, we thought Dale and Morris for initial swing, and Washy in the powerplay," he said.