IPL 2024
Sunil Gavaskar Criticizes Stagnant Innings Of Virat Kohli Against SRH
By CricShots - Apr 26, 2024 1:33 pm
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Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) hopes for a turnaround were reignited when Virat Kohli, the batting mainstay, walked out to bat against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday, April 25th. However, what began as a promising knock sputtered in the middle overs, leaving fans and experts questioning his inability to convert a solid start into a match-winning innings.

virat kohli
Virat Kohli failed to accelerate against SRH

Electing to bat first after winning the toss, Kohli started with a flourish, scoring 32 runs off just 18 balls in the powerplay. This aggressive display hinted at a potential return to form for the former RCB skipper. Kohli’s experience and skill at building an innings seemed to be on display, raising hopes for a substantial total.

However, the tide turned as the SRH spin duo of Shahbaz Ahmed and Mayank Markande came into the attack. Kohli’s scoring rate dipped dramatically, managing only 19 runs off his next 25 deliveries. This stagnation in the middle overs ultimately led to his dismissal by Jaydev Unadkat for a 43-ball 51 in the 15th over.

This shift in momentum in Kohli’s innings drew sharp criticism from legendary Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar.

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“In the middle, he just seemed to have lost touch,” Sunil Gavaskar pointed out on Star Sports. “I am not sure of the exact numbers, but I think from 31-32 to the time he got out, he did not hit a boundary. So at the end of the day, when you get out when you are facing the strike in the first ball of the innings and you get out in the 14th or the 15th over, you have got a strike rate of 118, that’s not what your team expects from you.”

Former Australian cricketer Simon Katich echoed Sunil Gavaskar’s sentiments, highlighting the missed opportunity for RCB.

sunil gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar

“Yeah, there is no doubt he lost impetus,” Simon Katich said. “I think Rajat Patidar played beautifully, and he was the one who was trying to hit the fours and sixes. Virat Kohli probably needed to do that. I think that the sub-120 strike rate probably cost RCB 220-plus against Sunrisers. Against SRH, 206 on the board, might not be enough.”

Despite Kohli’s struggles, RCB managed to post a respectable total of 206/7, thanks in part to a blistering 20-ball 50 from Rajat Patidar. While RCB secured a vital win by restricting SRH to 171, Kohli’s inability to capitalize on a strong start remains a concern. Although he retains the top spot on the IPL 2024 highest run-scorers list with 430 runs, fans and analysts alike are eager to see the vintage Kohli return, the one who can convert promising starts into match-winning centuries.

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RCB’s struggles continue, with the team currently at the bottom of the points table. Their next challenge comes against Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad on Sunday, April 28th. This match presents Kohli with another opportunity to silence the doubters and prove his enduring value to the RCB batting lineup.