RCB's AB de Villiers. (Image courtesy: AFP)
RCB’s vital cog, AB de Villiers. (Image courtesy: AFP)

The ongoing VIVO IPL 2018 has been another rollercoaster ride for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Currently languishing at fifth spot in the points table, RCB are in a tight spot. They need to win almost all their remaining six encounters to salvage a chance in the playoffs. The Virat Kohli-led side restricted Mumbai Indians (MI) well while defending 168 at Bengaluru on Tuesday, but they will face a litmus test against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their adopted home turf at Pune. They have missed AB de Villiers due to a viral fever, and will be hoping for his return.

De Villiers has revealed what he has gone through over the past few days in order to recover from illness. He believes there is a real sense of fight and determination in the RCB squad, and they have it in them to turn the tides and qualify. In his column for The Times of India (TOI), de Villiers insisted that “RCB’s best is yet to come.

Why he had to miss matches: “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. 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.”

Statutory warning? “There is a real sense of fight and determination in this RCB squad. We might have under-performed 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.”

With 280 runs in 6 matches, de Villiers had set the stage on fire, more so with his blistering knocks against CSK and Delhi Daredevils (DD). He looks determined to take his side through the line. RCB were in a similar scenario in 2016 edition, and ended as runners-up. Will they go the distance this time?