No concern: Agarkar breaks silence on Virat Kohli’s strike rate criticism ahead of T20 World Cup

No concern: Agarkar breaks silence on Virat Kohli’s strike rate criticism ahead of T20 World Cup

Kohli is the highest run scorer in T20 World Cup history and has won two Player of the Tournament awards in 2014 and 2016.

Virat Kohli was the orange cap holder in the IPL 2024 season until yesterday (April 1). The former Indian skipper has scored exactly 500 runs, but that hasn’t helped him escape criticism. Opening for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru, he’s come under heavy fire for his strike rate.

Virat Kohli’s strike rate not worth discussing? 

Kohli has continued to bat using his old-school method of utilizing the powerplay, slowing down in the middle and then exploding at the death. But other openers, despite scoring less runs than him, have had a greater impact. Abhishek Sharma, Travis Head, Jake Fraser-McGurk, and Phil Salt haven’t scored nearly the same amount of runs, but their strike rates are through the roof.

But Kohli’s strike rate isn’t worth ‘discussing’ according to BCCI chief selector, Ajit Agarkar. At the T20 World Cup 2024 squad announcement press conference, Agarkar claimed that he hasn’t thought about the T20 great’s strike rate, but he’s been in good nick (among runs), and they aren’t ‘overthinking’ it. 

“Virat Kohli’s strike rate—we haven’t been discussing it at all. He has been performing really well in the IPL. There’s no point overthinking. You are still going to a World Cup, there is still gap there. That’s where experience does matter a lot. If the tournament turns out like the IPL. If 220 (pitch) plays like 220, we have the skills. At the end of the day when you turn up for a World Cup, the pressure is different,” he reasoned.Agarkar said.

Latest on Kohli

IPL 2024: Virat Kohli’s strike rate by phase

Kohli’s overall strike rate isn’t bad. He’s not the best, but he’s holding his own in the powerplay. The issue for him and the India cricket team would be his middle-over pace. His strike rate takes a massive dip between the 7-15 over mark. 

Considering modern T20 batters don’t slow down and players like Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal have been doing that for some time, his slowdown in the middle could cost Rohit Sharma and co. dearly.

OverallPowerplay (1-6)Middle (7-15)Death (16-20)

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