Former England captain Michael Vaughan launched a scathing attack on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) stand-in skipper Virat Kohli for his slow batting during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
Michael Vaughan reckoned that Virat Kohli was struggling to get a move on, particularly against spin bowlers.
According to him, Virat Kohli’s strategy of playing an anchor role wasn’t working out for RCB, as his slow batting put more pressure on the team’s middle order.
“A lot of teams are going to bowl spin against Virat because of his strike rate against them. I think he has a 107 strike rate against spin. So most teams are going to bowl spin against Virat Kohli and they are going to put three fielders at the mid-wicket,” Michael Vaughan told Cricbuzz.
“I think his mindset after the powerplay is almost to be there at the 18th (over). I don’t think he is thinking about boundaries enough. I think he can (hit boundaries) because he is got the game, the power and the timing to be able to go and hit the six,” Michael Vaughan further stated.
“They can’t rely on the cameos from that middle-order. He (Virat Kohli) is going to continue with the mentor of that first six. It’s like a team take a couple of more risks,” the former England skipper noted.
Michael Vaughan, however, isn’t the former player to criticize Virat Kohli for his poor strike rate in the middle overs.
Before Michael Vaughan, former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar and ex-New Zealand star Simon Doull have been critical of Virat Kohli’s performances after the powerplay overs.
“It’s the same scenario with Virat Kohli that we have been seeing for a while. When the bowlers take the pace off, he struggles to get a move on. We saw that in the last IPL too. Once he gets into his 40s, he tends to slow down a little bit, I don’t know what the reason for that is,” Sanjay Manjrekar said after RCB’s victory against Punjab Kings last week.
Simon Doull was far harsher in his assessment of Virat Kohli’s batting, as he accused him of playing for personal milestones and not for the team’s cause.
“Virat 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. There is absolutely no room for that in this game anymore. Just gotta keep going, especially with wickets in hand at that stage. You got to keep going,” Simon Doull said in commentary during RCB’s contest with LSG.
Agreeing with the former New Zealand cricketer a fan wrote on Twitter: “Simon Doull criticising Kohli for his strike rate goes to show he gives no damn about the reputation of the player. From 40 (23) Kohli ended up with 61 (44). Respect to Simon Doull! He did the same with Babar and now with Kohli in regard to strike rate! No one should blame him for speaking facts.”
Virat Kohli, who has a penchant for breaking records, made his fifth fifty in the ongoing edition of the IPL. But his performance with the bat couldn’t guide RCB to victory against KKR, as they lost the game by 21 runs.
With RCB needing 201 to win the contest, Virat Kohli smacked a majestic 54 off 37 balls but failed to take his side over the finishing line.
While Virat Kohli couldn’t secure two points for his team, he did accomplish a major milestone in the clash.
En route to his 54 against KKR, Virat Kohli became the first batter to reach the 3,000 run mark at a single stadium in T20s. Overall the 34-year-old has made 3,015 runs in 92 knocks at Bengaluru’s iconic M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Right behind the Delhi-born cricketer in the last are ex-Bangladesh skippers Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim.
In 121 innings, Mushfiqur Rahim has collected 2,989 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, and Mahmudullah has accrued 2,813 runs in 130 knocks at the same ground.
England’s Alex Hales and Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal occupy the fourth and the fifth spots on the list. While the Englishman has made 2,749 runs in 90 innings in the shortest format in Trent Bridge, the Bangladeshi has completed 2,706 runs in Mirpur.
Meanwhile, Australian legend Ricky Ponting shared his thoughts on Virat Kohli’s comparison with Sachin Tendulkar.
The ex-Australia captain said it wouldn’t be a fair comparison between Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar at this stage. Instead, he would like to wait for Virat Kohli’s career to get over to share his opinion on who he thought was a better batter.
“I’ve said forever, Sachin’s technically the best batter that I’ve ever seen, and played with or against. Whatever plan that we came up with as a bowling group, he found a way to combat it, whether it was in India or Australia,” Ricky Ponting said on the ICC Review.
“It’s hard to rank and judge players as everyone is different and everyone plays the game differently. But certainly through the generation that I played, he was technically the best player that I saw,” the two-time ICC ODI World Cup-winning captain added.
“Trying to compare the times and I know Virat played a little bit in the back end of when Sachin played, but it is a bit of a different game now. There’s different rules, for instance, around 50-over cricket, with less fielders outside the circle, two new balls, it makes it a lot easier now for batting than probably ever before,” Ricky Ponting noted.
“There’s no doubt that the bats have got better. Field restrictions and new balls is a big part of it as well. When Sachin was playing ODIs, the ball at the end of a 50-over game was very hard to see. It was very soft. It was very hard to hit, it reverse swung. You don’t see that at all in the modern 50-over game,” he opined.
“Virat’s got all that (time) ahead of him just yet. He’s an unbelievably good player, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got over 70-odd international hundreds now. Sachin made a 100 (centuries), didn’t he? Let’s wait until Virat’s career’s over and then I think it’ll be a much fairer comparison,” the Australian batting great summed up.
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