Cricket-Kohli rages at Bangalore fielding after handing Kolkata a 'freebie'

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Fourth Test - India v Australia

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Royal Challengers Bangalore stand-in skipper Virat Kohli delivered a blunt assessment of their performance in Wednesday's Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Kolkata Knight Riders, saying they were not "professional enough" and deserved to lose.

Bangalore, one of three teams who have never won the IPL title, slumped to their fourth defeat in eight matches with their 21-run loss at Kolkata's Eden Gardens.

After opener Jason Roy smashed 56 and skipper Nitish Rana, who was dropped twice, hammered 48 off 21 balls to power Kolkata to 200-5, Kohli (54) led the Bangalore reply with his fifth fifty of the season.

While their chase was derailed by a slew of soft dismissals, Kohli said it was their sloppiness in the field that gifted the opposition victory.

"To be honest, we handed over the game," a visibly upset Kohli said afterwards.

"We deserved to lose because we weren't professional enough in the field.

"I thought the bowlers hit decent areas, but we didn't hold on to our chances. That's what you call a freebie in T20 cricket and we literally handed them a victory."

Bangalore had been cruising at 51-1 in the fifth over but could not capitalise on the start and eventually finished on 179-8.

"With the bat, I thought we set ourselves up really well," said Kohli, who has taken the captaincy with Faf du Plessis limited to batting duties because of a rib injury.

"And then so many soft dismissals ... those were not really wicket-taking balls but we ended up hitting to the fielder four-five times in the innings.

"These are some of the soft plays in cricket which you want to avoid as a team."

Bangalore next face Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Peter Rutherford)