'You are trying to figure out...:' Virat Kohli responds to the strike-rate debate
Virat Kohli’s strike rate has been a talking point since he played a knock of 61 runs off 44 balls against Lucknow Super Giants at M Chinnaswamy Stadium. The Indian great slowed down significantly when he was near his half-century, which raised many eyebrows. There were talks about Kohli playing for his personal milestone.
However, Virat Kohli has now replied to his critics, explaining why he anchors the innings. He talked briefly about the importance of an anchor in modern-day T20 cricket.
Virat Kohli slams back his critics and replies on his slow strike rate
Virat Kohli has a tried and tested method in the T20s, which has earned him a lot of success. However, his struggles against the spinners are lucid. No wonder Kohli tends to slow down after a period.
In a chat with Robin Uthappa on Jio Cinema, Virat Kohli talked briefly about the importance of an anchor in the T20 format. He exclaimed that people look at the game differently because “they haven’t been in that situation themselves”.
“Yeah, for sure (important anchor role). I completely agree with that. There are many people who, because they have not been in that situation themselves, they look at the game differently,” said Virat Kohli in the chat. “Suddenly when the powerplay is done, they will be like, 'Oh, they have started rotating the strike'. When you haven't lost a wicket in the powerplay, usually the best player comes on to bowl. You are trying to figure out what to do against him in the first two overs so that you can get big ones in the last two overs of that guy, and then, rest of the innings become much easier.”
Kohli’s point makes sense as well. The best bowler of the opposition attacks when the batters are off to a flier in the first six overs. If the set batters attack them and lose their wicket in the process, the new batter will find it tough to get going from the first ball. But if they play out an over or two safely, they build a launch pad for the batters to follow.
This method might not be useful for every batter. Virat Kohli can take on the best bowlers in the world after settling in. Hence, he has followed this template over the years.
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The 34-year-old was criticised by the former New Zealander Simon Doull for playing slowly while approaching his half-century. He has slammed back by pointing out the valid reason for slowing down. Virat Kohli has been in top form in IPL 2023, having already amassed three fifties in four innings this season.