IPL 2024
‘Just felt like I need to take a bit more risk’ – Virat Kohli on the slogsweep
By SMCS - May 10, 2024 11:00 am
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In his first nine games of IPL 2024, Virat Kohli scored at a strike rate of 123.58 against the spinners, whereas in his last three games, he scored at 167.7. One of the reasons he has been able to do this is because of his use of the slog sweep, and to be able to execute the shot with ease as well. However, during his knock against Punjab Kings, Kohli managed 23 off 13 at a strike rate of close to 177 and then continued to do well against the pacers, scoring his remaining 69 runs off 34 deliveries at a strike rate of over 200 as well.

Virat Kohli

“I brought out the slogsweep to the spinners. (It’s) something that I just mentally put myself in that situation. I didn’t practise it at all. I know I can hit it because I’ve hit it a lot in the past. So I just felt like I need to take a bit more risk and for me that shot was something that I used to hit regularly back in the day and that’s allowing me to now hit off the backfoot as well, because now I’m looking to expose that side (legside) of the field against the spin which for me has been a massive factor in this IPL,” explained Virat Kohli, speaking to the broadcasters at the post-match presentations.

“I think it takes a bit more conviction and to take out that thought that props up – ‘what if you get out?’ I think I have been managing to stay ahead of that thought in this IPL. And that’s really helped me through the middle overs, keep my strike rate up and keeping that scoring rate going for the team as well,” further added Kohli.

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However, the several catches put down by the Punjab Kings cost them as Kohli capitalised on it, as did Rajat Patidar who hit a 23-ball 55. Kohli and Patidar added 76 off 32 deliveries for the third wicket stand before Green joined Kohli to add 92 off 46 for the fourth wicket, helping RCB post a massive 241/7 as well.

“That’s the beauty of having Virat in your team. The opposition teams can’t give him that many chances, he’s always going to make you hurt, especially if you drop him three or four times, especially early in his innings when he’s trying to be really aggressive. After the couple of dropped catches he looked like he didn’t have much to lose. So he played the vintage Virat, the way we all know, and it was beautiful watching from the other end,” said Green at the post-match press conference.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

“We were just not good enough in the first half of the tournament, precisely why we are in a situation again where so many factors after we win our (remaining) two games still have to go our way. Which is not an ideal scenario to be part of, especially after we won the second game of the season and then we had those losses on the trot. We had a couple of close games but still we were outplayed in most of them. We just had a honest chat in the change room that that’s not good enough. Playing at this level we need to pull up our socks and be a bit more brave with the ball and the bat,” said Kohli.

“And I think the starting point was in Kolkata where we came out and bowled like that in the powerplay and we kept hunting for wickets and that game went down to the wire. And that gave us a bit more belief that this is the cricket we want to play, and it came to a point where we said ‘don’t look at the table or anything like that. Play for the self respect we have as cricketers’. We’ve gone through so many hardships and such a long journey to be at this level. So we can’t just go out there and play in a way that doesn’t make yourselves proud, and the fans as well. They turn out in huge numbers and we can’t keep disappointing them like this. So we need to raise our level and really play for our own pride as a team. And now we’re on a roll but then you go back thinking what if just a week earlier if this momentum had caught up, so we wouldn’t be in this position to depend on so many factors,” he concluded.