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HomeCricket OpinionIs Virat Kohli batting too slow or do RCB have bigger issues?

Is Virat Kohli batting too slow or do RCB have bigger issues?



Last Updated on 2 months by Charbel Coorey

IPL 2024 coverage: A look at Virat Kohli this season – is the star batsman batting too slow or do RCB have wider issues?

Do you know which players have never been let go by their IPL teams? Well, we’ve got you covered. They are Virat Kohli (RCB), Sachin Tendulkar (MI), MS Dhoni (CSK), Rishabh Pant (DC), and Sunil Narine (KKR). This demonstrates the high level of trust these teams have in their players and their skills, and the loyalty these players show to their teams.

Among the players mentioned above, Virat Kohli shines in his long-standing dedication to the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Men’s IPL, despite the team still searching for their elusive first title.

Since joining in 2008, Kohli has set many records and weathered criticism. In the recent 19th match of IPL 2024 against Rajasthan Royals, Kohli scored 113 runs, his first century of the season. Along with this, another interesting IPL fact about Virat Kohli is, till now he has scored eight centuries, highest of all. However, his latest century’s slow strike rate sparked controversy, marking it as the “Slowest Century in the IPL”.

A Deep Look into Virat’s Slowest Century…

Along with amazing world records, trolls and controversies are not new to Virat Kohli. The latest is criticism aimed at the approach to his batting; namely for being selfish as he played 72 balls to score 113 runs at a strike rate of 156.92. This knock helped the team to reach 183, a score that most bowling attacks would make a fist of when defending.

Talking about his performance, Virat stated that as there was a lack of bounce and pace in the Jaipur surface. RR’s spinners capitalised and made it difficult for him to play his desired shots. Due to this, he thinks the total set by the team was effective.

However, they lost the match against RR as Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson played exceptionally, helping their team win. RCB then suffered their third defeat of the season, closely followed by a thumping at the hands of Mumbai Indians.

Reactions against Virat’s approach

After the loss to RR, RCB fans along with others were not happy with Kohli’s approach, with the belief that the Royals set the template on how to play on that surface.

Not only fans, but ex-cricketers like Virender Sehwag also criticised Virat’s innings. “I felt RCB scored about 20 runs less. About Virat Kohli, his knock was great, but there was nobody to support him,” he said speaking for Cricbuzz.

“Karthik did not come…so there were no big hitters to accompany him and those who came did not to work. Yes Kohli’s strike rate should have definitely increased because when you score 50 in 39 balls, then you tend to score at a quicker rate thereafter. The strike rate automatically then almost touches 200. He made a mistake there for sure,” he said.

Joining the crowd, Pakistan’s ex-player Junaid Khan also mocked Virat for his slow century. He shared a post on X:

While Kohli faced criticism from some, many others stood by him, praising his selfless attitude and acknowledging the immense pressure he faced to try lead his team to victory.

Here are some appreciation posts:

Opinion: RCB have bigger issues than Virat Kohli

However, whichever side you may be on regarding the Kohli debate, it is clear RCB have wider issues. Their bowling, predicted to be their weakness this season, has barely fired a shot. Mumbai Indians chasing down 197 in just 15.3 overs says it all. Kohli managed just three and was dismissed in the third over.

RCB conceded 176 in 18.4 overs to lose to CSK. KKR then made a mockery of their 182, chasing it with 19 balls to spare. Virat was then out early against LSG, but the rest of the batsmen couldn’t get to LSG’s 181 at the Chinnaswamy. Then, the less said about the bowling performances in the RR and MI games, the better.

Also, there have not been enough contributions from the others with the bat. In the innings against RR, the rest of the batsmen scored 59 off 48 balls. Glenn Maxwell, one of their big names, has mustered just 32 runs in five matches so far in IPL 2024. Cameron Green hasn’t fired, while the likes of Rajat Patidar and Faf du Plessis have shown glimpses at best.

Amid all the criticism, there are questions arising about Virat’s selection in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024. But before you form your own opinion, let’s check his performances in past T20 World Cups. Till now, Kohli has played 27 games, batting 25 times in T20 World Cups. Across these matches, he scored 1,141 runs at an average of 81.50 and strike rate of 131.30 with 14 fifties. His reliability and skill have made him indispensable for the Indian team in this format, consistently delivering strong performances.

Going forward for RCB, Virat may need to look to go even harder at the top to cater for the lack of bowling options. This cries out of a team that is imbalanced, with issues that should be of focus more than a player who has hit 319 runs in the first five games at an average of 79.75 and strike rate of 141.77.

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