'It's not fair:' Pakistan legend defends Virat Kohli amidst criticism over his strike-rate

Former Pakistan Pacer backs Virat Kohli to play in his usual fashion for RCB in IPL 2024.

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Former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram has defended Virat Kohli amid the ongoing wave of criticism against the former Royal Challengers Bengaluru captain on his strike rate.  The current Orange Cap holder, Kohli, has had a phenomenal IPL 2024 season so far and has scored over 500 runs in the tournament.

Several cricket experts have noted that Virat Kohli’s initial knocks have come at a low strike rate as per his standards. However, many other experts have argued that his low strike-rate in the initial phase has been mostly due to the collapsing RCB middle-order.

Wasim Akram Backs Virat Kohli to play in his usual fashion for RCB in IPL 20 2024 

In a recent interview with Sportskeeda, Wasim Akram opined that when Royal Challengers Bengaluru was consistently losing matches and the batters were losing their wickets, Virat Kohli was batting at a strike rate of 150 which is acceptable if the team was winning. 

“What criticism is he getting? That his team is losing. If the guy is scoring 100 at 150 strike rate, isn't it fine? If the team had won, there wouldn't have been criticism. Kohli was under pressure when he was captain, and he is under pressure even now. He is scoring, but one player cannot win the match. Criticizing him unnecessarily... it's not fair. In the long run, Kohli has a lot of cricket left, RCB will have to think why their performances were so inconsistent even after 16 years. Their batting is still fine, but their bowlers are weak,” Akram discussed. 

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While defending the criticism against the short boundaries of the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Akram noted that the boundaries have always remained the same and the team management has always failed to back bowlers in their team, which makes it difficult for them to defend their totals. 

He added, “Some people say that the ground is short. But you know that already. Pick players according to that only. It is the same ground where I played a Test in 1987. It's the same ground now. If you look at this IPL, it feels like it's over. The way teams are scoring 270s, it looks like it. People are calling an anchor slow even when the strike rate is 150. When you look at the pitches and the performances, it looks like it. You have to hit from the first ball, you can't stop.” 

After losing initial matches in the tournament, RCB has bounced back strongly with a hat-trick of wins and currently stand on the seventh position of the points table. They will try their best to remain in contention for the Playoffs by winning their remaining three matches.