Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach Simon Katich has heaped praise on skipper Virat Kohli for his instinctive decision which turned the match on its head against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Wednesday. Katich has revealed that it was the ‘gut-feel’ decision of Virat Kohli to throw the ball to Shahbaz Ahmed in the 17th over of the innings.

SRH were in a shoo-in position as they required 35 runs off 24 balls with Jonny Bairstow and a well-settled Manish Pandey at the crease. However, Ahmed’s second over turn the tide in RCB’s favour as the left-arm spinner scalped three wickets.

The ball was gripping the surface and it made sense to give the ball to a left-arm spinner, who could take the ball away from the right-handers, forcing them to hit against the line. Ahmed bowled in the full-length area and Bairstow, Pandey and Abdul Samad all took the bait. The trio tried to hit across the line but couldn’t get the connection they were looking for.

“During the strategic time out, Virat Kohli told us his gut feeling is to bowl Shahbaz again we agreed to it. He deserves a lot of credit as skipper for taking and going with instincts”, Katich said as per the RCB website.

Mohammed Siraj had earlier revealed Kohli decided to back Shahbaz Ahmed in the 17th over as the ball was gripping and the two right-handers were at the crease.

“Pitch was slow and gripping for spinners so Virat Bhai told left-arm spinner Shahbaz to bowl then changed the match completely by taking three wickets in a single over,” he said in the press conference.

Kohli was able to reap rewards for his brilliant captaincy. RCB will next face Kolkata Knight Riders at the same venue of the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on 18th April.