Virat Kohli’s fit of sulk during Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) contest against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) went viral on social media.
The episode happened earlier this week when England and KKR opener Jason Roy smashed four consecutive sixes off the bowling of Shahbaz Ahmed in the sixth over at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
With Jason Roy taking Shahbaz Ahmed to the cleaners, Virat Kohli appeared upset with his colleague as he felt the spin bowler could have altered his line and length to prevent the Englishman from clobbering him over the park.
As Jason Roy continued his assault on the RCB bowler, Virat Kohli was seen sulking over the underwhelming performance of Shahbaz Ahmed and looked visibly frustrated when the over ended.
Subsequently, Virat Kohli’s reaction began trending on Twitter, with millions of his fans posting their opinion about his on-field antics.
Oh boy, this Roy can bat! #RCBvKKR #TATAIPL #IPLonJioCinema #IPL2023 | @JasonRoy20 @KKRiders pic.twitter.com/QVYc2ZuZ2b
— JioCinema (@JioCinema) April 26, 2023
Also, Virat Kohli faced social media mockery after he failed to lead his side to victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Virat Kohli’s RCB is in fifth place on the table behind Rajasthan Royals (RR), Gujarat Titans (GT), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), which have 10 points each. Lucknow Super Giants are fourth with eight.
While some called him “shameless”, others alleged he was only concerned about personal milestones and not keen to lead his side to victory against opposition teams in the cash-rich league.
Some even posted memes to have fun at Virat Kohli’s expense.
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.
Though 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.
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.”
Fans were not alone in criticizing Virat Kohli as former England skipper Michael Vaughan launched a scathing attack on the premier India batter 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.
Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh, however, defended Virat Kohli. He even argued that the RCB talisman cannot do everything alone.
“Virat Kohli cannot do everything alone. Yes, he will score runs for you all the time and is a fantastic player. However, he needs support from other players, which was missing. Everyone got out one by one, and they eventually lost the game,” Harbhajan Singh said on his YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, the prominent cricket website ESPNcricinfo noted that “Kohli is RCB, and RCB is Kohli. He is the only player to have featured for the same franchise in all 16 IPL seasons, playing in all but four of their 235 IPL matches. He was here as a 19-year-old boy on the competition’s opening night, playing for the same team against the same opposition, and he is still here now as a 34-year-old man. He will always be associated with this team, a team that has created its brand and its identity around him.”
“He is front and centre of every sponsorship photoshoot, his face plastered on every billboard in the surrounding area. Kohli is not only a cricketer, but also a brand: you can buy suitcases, tyres, wellness supplements, orthodontic aligners and air-conditioning units which come with his seal of approval, and are reminded to do so every time you switch on your television.”
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