Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman Virat Kohli opened up on the debate over his strike rate in the T20 format after commentator Simon Doull criticized him for slowing down in the innings vs Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), a couple of nights ago. Many critics even blamed Kohli and captain Faf du Plessis for the loss to LSG despite the fact that they had helped put up 212 for 2 in 20 overs. The critics argued that the score could have been at least 15 more had Kohli and Faf played with better strike rates.
Doull minced no words and attacked Kohli, even accusing the RCB batter of playing for personal milestones. Doull had said from the comm box: “Kohli started off like a train. He was going hammer and tongs as he was playing a lot of shots. From 42 to 50, he took 10 balls. Concerned about a milestone. I don’t think there’s room for that in this game anymore. Just got to keep going, especially with wickets in hand at that stage. You got to keep going.”
In a new video released by Jio Cinema in which Robin Uthappa is interviewing Kohli, the RCB batsman was quizzed on the strike rate issue. Kohli did not shy away from replying to the critics, without naming anyone.
“Yeah for sure (important anchor role). I completely agree with that, There are many people who because they have not been in that situation themselves, they look at the game differently,” Kohli told Uthappa.
Explaining further about his mindset after the powerplay overs, Kohli said that he slows down because the opponents introduce their best bowlers after the first six overs if a wicket has not fallen and he tries to find out ways to score against them.
“Suddenly when the powerplay is done, they will be like ‘oh, they have started rotating the strike’. When you haven’t lost a wicket in the powerplay, usually the best player comes on to bowl, you are trying to figure out what to do against him in the first two overs, so that you can get big ones in the last two overs of that guy and then rest of the innings becomes much easier,” he added.
RCB lost two back-to-back matches in IPL 2023 after opening their season with an impressive win over Mumbai Indians. They aim to come back to winning ways at home vs Delhi Capitals on Saturday.