Two times Indian Premier League (IPL) winning captain Gautam Gambhir has spoken about the role Virat Kohli has taken up for his franchise. Gambhir gave his view on why the talismanic Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper and opening batter, Virat Kohli slowed down the pace of scoring in the middle overs after getting his side to decent starts at the top of the order. Talking to ESPNcricinfo, Gambhir discussed Kohli’s natural playing style which helped the likes of AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell change gears in the later stages of an innings.
“The reason is probably Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. Virat Kohli feels that those two can actually accelerate in the second half of the innings as well, so he can play that anchor role which he has done really well whenever he has anchored the innings whether in 50 overs or T20 cricket and that’s not his natural game either,” Gambhir opined.
Gambhir also pointed out that Kohli was relying on his natural game a lot more in IPL 2021, which has mostly paid off looking at the position RCB are in currently.
“So, that’s the reason why he is more successful when he opens the batting so that he can use the first six overs and probably get the momentum on his side and continue batting after six overs and someone else from the other end can actually accelerate. But that’s his natural game, but if goes out of his natural game, then it could be really hard for him to score a lot of runs because he doesn’t have the same power or skill as De Villiers or for that matter, even Maxwell,” Gambhir added.
Maxwell has scored 407 runs at a strike-rate of 145.35 this season. While, on the other hand, Kohli has a strike-rate of 146.66 in the powerplay this season in comparison to a mediocre 87.50 in the middle-overs.
“Strike-rates are very overrated. You can expect Kohli to have a 600-run season but you can never expect Maxwell to have a 600-run season. But you can never-have Maxwell batting at a strike-rate of 120-125 but can never expect Kohli to be batting at 160 strike-rate. So, both those guys are different and it’s just the combination of everyone which makes a very successful side,” he concluded
With 8 wins from 12 games, RCB are in the playoffs in IPL 2021. They will face SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) today.
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