Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli didn’t plan to open their bowling attack with Mohammed Siraj against Kolkata Knight Riders but made a late call to start with two pacers. Spinner Washington Sundar was to partner pacer Chris Morris as per RCB plan after losing the toss.

Siraj had replaced Shahbaz Ahmed in RCB’s playing XI for the Wednesday’s IPL 2020 clash, and he stunned KKR by bowling a double-wicket maiden first-up before following that with another wicket-maiden over.

He eventually finished with excellent figures of 4-2-8-3 as KKR managed 84/8 after opting to bat first.

“It was a late call to be honest (to give Siraj the new ball). It was a good toss to lose because we would have batted first. The plan was to bowl Washy (Washington Sundar) and Morry (Chris Morris), but then we thought let’s go Morris and Siraj,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“Last year Siraj had a tough year and a lot of people went hard at him. This year he has worked hard and was bowling well in the nets. He has seen the results now but we want him to keep following the process,” he added.

Siraj, who was given the man-of-the-match award, thanked Kohli and credited his hard work for the performance.

“Thanks to Virat for giving me the new ball. I have been practising a lot with the new ball. We hadn’t planned that I will open but when we went out, Virat bhai asked me to be ready,” he said.

The win was RCB’s seventh of the season as the jumped to the second spot in the points table.

Kohli said the change in team culture has resulted in the vastly improved performance as compared to the last season. “The management has set in a culture where there is proper planning. It is not random. We have a Plan A,we have a Plan B, we have a Plan C. We are here to execute the plans we have in place. We did a few things at the auction too, which is paying off,” he explained.

He continued, “You can have all the plans, but you have to have belief. Morry (Morris) is living the responsibility. He is the guy who likes to take the leadership role. His energy is amazing. He can contribute with the bat, ball and in the field.”

KKR captain Eoin Morgan was disappointed with the show and is hopeful that their two star allrounders Andre Russell and Sunil Narine will regain fitness and be available soon.

“RCB bowled well, but we should have countered that better. And with that dew, we probably should have bowled first,” Morgan said.

“Two guys of that calibre, particularly when they are all-rounders, is a big hole. Hopefully they will be available down the line,” he added.