AB de Villiers was asked to predict who would win this year’s IPL and he placed his bets on the MS Dhoni led CSK to win the title.
After having an abysmal IPL last year, Royal Challengers Bangalore hoped of turning it around this year. However, with their key pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile getting injured and the backup Corey Anderson failing to find his feet, RCB struggled in the first part of the tournament.
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) May 21, 2018
RCB initially struggled to strike a balance with their playing XI. By the time they included Tim Southee and CDG, things had already run quite out of hand. However, with the mid-season collapse of KXIP, RCB went on a roll and came in contention for the playoffs.
As it turned out, the team just fell short and could not make the final cut. However, the one batsman that stood out for Bangalore was star South African batsman AB de Villiers.
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Talking about their last match against RR, de Villiers said, “We can have no complaints. It is frustrating to know we would have qualified if we had defeated Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, and at one stage we seemed to be on course for a successful chase, but their spinners halted our march and, in a few hectic overs, our dreams evaporated like the morning mist.
“So it’s all doom and gloom in Bengaluru? No, not at all. We are extremely disappointed to have won only six of our 14 matches, but it is often said that sports teams must lose together before they can win together, and I do believe that, amid our underperformance in 2018, we have laid a solid foundation for 2019.
Despite the loss, de Villiers believes that the team culture has greatly grown in the times of adversity. Mr. 360 said, “I have been fortunate to participate in every IPL since the tournament started in 2008 and, in many respects, for me, the 2018 event has been the most enjoyable. The spirit within the RCB squad has been outstanding. In the good moments, and also the difficult moments, players, coaches and staff have stuck together and backed each other, and we have developed a collective will that augurs well for next season.”
As RCB did not qualify for the playoffs, de Villiers was asked which other team could win the title. To this, the Protea predicted that the final will be played between the Chennai Super Kings and the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Subsequently, CSK would have the last laugh, courtesy the heroics of skipper MS Dhoni.
“The IPL remains brilliantly unpredictable. However, if forced to make a prediction, I would not be surprised to see SRH, brilliantly led by Kane Williamson, play CSK in the final, and then for yet one more burst of MS Dhoni magic to propel the team in yellow to the title,” AB de Villiers signed off.