'It's not really okay:' Tom Moody makes a bold statement on Virat Kohli's batting approach

The former Australia cricketer questioned RCB batter's costly slowdowns after the field restriction phase and asked the franchise to address it. 
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One more innings. One more Virat Kohli slowdown. The batter may have reasoned the introduction of the opposition's best bowlers for the dip in his run-rate after the powerplay field restriction phase. But on the outside, a debate keeps going on whether the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opener is truly allowing his team to maximise their time with the bat in hand.  

Kohli, who has focused on pushing the run-scoring through the powerplay phase for RCB in IPL 2023, has had costly slowdowns thereafter. In the match played against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Thursday (April 20), the experienced right-hander reached 29* off 19 balls at the close of the powerplay, but reached his fifty in only the 14th over with the 40th ball of his stay in the middle. 

Going at a run-a-ball after the powerplay signalled yet another innings where either Virat Kohli wasn't intent on retaining a good enough T20 strike-rate or simply wasn't able to. More of the latter in his case, for the batter historically doesn't attempt boundary options post the powerplay until he breaks free at the death. 

The RCB opener is lauded for his end-overs acceleration and has over time adopted an approach wherein he believes he will make up for the mid-innings slowdown. However, in a format where the existence of  only 120 balls compels teams to maximise each phase of the innings, such slowdowns can often prove very costly. In the match against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) where RCB lost despite making 212 on a super flat deck, Kohli had made only 19 off 19 balls after the powerplay, a phase that held the team back at his end. 

Moody calls out Kohli's costly slowdowns 

Taking note of his slowdown versus PBKS, where even though RCB won by 24, experts felt they should've made well more than 174/4 after Virat Kohli's opening stand of 137 with top-scorer Faf du Plessis (84), former Australia cricketer Tom Moody questioned the player's approach with the bat and stressed he is not allowing RCB to maximise their time out in the middle. 

"It's not pretty reading, is it?" Moody said on ESPNcricinfo show 'T20: Time Out' when fronted up with numbers around Kohli's post-powerplay approach. "I think it is something that needs to be looked at closely."

Also Read - How Virat Kohli got his 'Impact Player' assertion wrong at the toss

While fellow guest speaker on the show Amol Muzumdar, Mumbai batting legend and coach for Rajasthan Royals (RR) previously, argued that Kohli's approach is fine so as long as he kicks on and makes a substantial score, Moody put his T20 thinking cap on and said the batter is not helping RCB maximise their totals. 

"I know Amol said it's okay if Virat bats till the end, but it's not really okay because you're not maximising (balls) as a team," Moody stressed. "They (RCB) didn't lose their first wicket until they scored 136 runs and the bulk of the innings was gone."

"If you have one of your batters striking only at 125 (125.53) and batting all that period of time, you're not, from a team perspective, maximising your score."

"So clearly, Virat's dominating the powerplay and playing incredibly well there. But, whether it's the strategic mindset or he's getting stuck through the middle phase, it needs to be adressed if RCB are to maximise their totals."