Virat Kohli has had decent outings in RCB's last two fixtures, scoring a half-century (58 off 53 balls) versus Gujarat Titans (GT) and against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on a difficult track, he played a labored knock of 33-ball 30. The strike rate though was a concern in both the innings.
Kohli scored three boundaries and a six on a pitch that was not very conducive for batting, before being castled by Moeen Ali.
Meanwhile, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has come out in support of Virat Kohli. While speaking on Star Sports, Shastri stated that time spent in the middle will benefit the star batter and the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the remainder of the IPL 2022 season.
"I don't go big on that (strike rate). I will go and see the surface. If the surface is flat, then go. Then your strike rate has to be really good. But on a track like this, you might have to do the job for your team as well. Hold the innings together, and play the sheet anchor's role. The strike rate will always be good at the end of the innings," he said.
Shastri felt that with the playoffs coming up, both the RCB openers scoring runs is important for the franchise.
"Getting the runs is important, RCB winning is important. Opening pair getting runs is important, both of them. This looks good. This augurs well for RCB for the tough games coming up, going into the play-offs.”
"He wants to get the ball into the gaps, the time it, and get the runs early on. They both were set but when the spinners came on, it was gripping, it was even more difficult to rotate strike. It was the kind of wickets where you have to go through the period. It was tough when the ball was gripping. he got out at the stage, a beautiful delivery from Moeen Ali, a classical off-spinner's delivery beating the inside of the bat.”
"But 30 is 30, 50 is 50, in two innings it's 80-plus. And there is a lot of cricket left to be played. So it augurs well," he added.
Furthermore, Shastri said that Kohli would be disappointed getting out to Moeen Ali in that fashion. Notably, Moeen had dismissed the former Indian captain in a Test match in Chennai last year in a similar way.
"He would have been disappointed. He got off to a start. He did the hard work. Yes, the ball was turning, he is too good a player to give it away in that fashion. It's not the first time he's been out in that fashion to Moeen Ali.
"That would upset him. The signs are good, he has spent some time in the last game, he has spent some time at the crease the last time in this game. It was not easy when the spinners came on but he will be disappointed."
Although the former RCB skipper is averaging a little more than 20 in the current edition of the Indian Premier League, he is still the tournament's all-time leading run-scorer with 6499 runs, including 5 centuries and 43 half-centuries to his name.
(INDIA TODAY INPUTS)