Dubai: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said his side will not take the good showing in the first leg of IPL 2021 for granted, adding that latest additions, including Sri Lanka's Wanidu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera, have added a new dimension to the team.
The IPL-14, which was suspended midway into the league in May owing to multiple COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble, will resume in the UAE on Sunday.
RCB are missing the services of a few of their players who featured in the first leg, including the Australian duo of Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson.
"We have made changes, we've got a few replacements. Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa who were with us in the first leg, made a decision not to play in the second leg for reasons which are absolutely understandable," Kohli said at the unveiling of team's blue jersey.
"The replacements we have got for those guys are two players who know these conditions, the conditions in the sub continent around this time are similar.
"Wanidu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera have played so much cricket in Sri Lanka and know how to play in pitches like these. There skill sets will be of huge help to us.
"We haven't spoken at all on what we have missed out on because players have pulled out. We feel stronger, the new additions have given us a new dimension," Kohli added.
RCB are currently placed third in the league table, having won five of their seven matches but the skipper said the team will start the second phase with the same passion and commitment they showed in April-May.
"Having played the game for so long at this level you understand that whether you are seven wins in a row you have to start the eighth with the same passion and commitment and professionalism.
"Whether you have no wins out of five games you still have to find motivation and the passion inside to go out and change the result. You can't take anything for granted.
"On the outside there are many analyses and data points but the game is not played on that. The game is never about information from the outside it is about reaction, belief in certain moments, game plans and making sure you have the will and commitment to execute those plans."
Asked if the players not getting enough time to spend as a group ahead of the tournament affect preparations in any way, Kohli said the team's performance in the first half instilled a lot of confidence.
"It is an important factor (players joining the squad at different times) but that isn't going to take away from what we set out to achieve and what we already set in motion in the last time.
"We had a great start to IPL 2021 to the campaign and that is a driving factor that we can play a certain brand of cricket that we have already shown in the first leg with really strong and consistent performances, every player chipping in somewhere or the other etc."
RCB are slated to take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday in Abu Dhabi and the Kohli-led RCB players will be wearing blue jerseys resembling the colour of the PPE kits of frontline warriors.
These signed jerseys will be auctioned and the proceeds will be used for free vaccination among lesser privileged communities in India.