Social media went berserk after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) stand-in skipper Virat Kohli set a colossal Indian Premier League (IPL) record in their recent match against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
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.
Virat Kohli in IPL 2023:
– 82*(49) vs MI
– 21(18) vs KKR
– 61(44) vs LSG
– 50(34) vs DC
– 6(4) vs CSK
– 59(47) vs PBKS
– 0(1) vs RR
– 54(37) vs KKR
5 fifties from 8 innings – Well played, King Kohli. pic.twitter.com/I1NrZp3Hww
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) April 26, 2023
Most consecutive times 300+ runs scored in an IPL season:
Virat Kohli – 14*
Suresh Raina – 12
Shikhar Dhawan – 12
Domination of King Kohli.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) April 27, 2023
IPL is boring without Virat Kohli and RCB pic.twitter.com/kWi5nH9Mya
— leisha (@katyxkohli17) April 27, 2023
Fastest to 12000 international runs among Asian batters:
Virat Kohli 276 innings
Babar Azam 277 innings#PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/0LwyP2dHI8
— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) April 27, 2023
Virat Kohli has 96 fifty plus scores in T20 cricket:
•Most by an Indian in history.
•Most by an Asian in history.
•3nd most in the world in history.
The GOAT. pic.twitter.com/zC9ggCyJ7Y
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) April 27, 2023
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.
After RCB’s loss to KKR, Virat Kohli slammed his team’s display. The talismanic batter said that his side “deserved to lose”.
“To be honest, we handed over the game to them,” Virat Kohli told Star Sports after RCB’s loss. “We deserved to lose because we weren’t professional enough in the field. 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, which for me is not ideal because we take pride in the way we play and tonight we weren’t up to standard and something we are not shy to admit.”
“With the bat, we set ourselves up really well and then [there were] so many soft dismissals,” Virat Kohli added. “Balls which are not wicket-taking balls but we ended up hitting it to fielders about four-five times in the innings. These are some of the soft plays in cricket which you want to avoid as a team. So when you do six-seven of those on a night, obviously you are going to be on the losing side.
“Even after losing wickets as well, one partnership brought us back in the game. We were one more partnership away from getting close to chasing that [target] down. We just need to identify things that did not go right tonight and not give soft plays to the opposition.”
Meanwhile, former England skipper Michael Vaughan ripped into Virat Kohli for his slow batting approach, particularly against spin bowlers.
According to Michael Vaughan, Virat Kohli’s strategy of playing an anchor role wasn’t working out for the 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 would return to action on May 1 when RCB would look to defeat the Lucknow Super Giants to secure their fifth win in nine games.
Three teams, namely Rajasthan Royals (RR), Gujarat Titans (GT), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), have 10 points each and occupy the first three places on the table.
KL Rahul’s LSG and RCB have eight points, with the former fourth and the latter fifth on the charts.
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