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Strike rate of 118! Virat Kohli raises concerns not just for RCB but Team India too

Strike rate of 118! Virat Kohli raises concerns not just for RCB but Team India too

SRH vs RCB: Virat Kohli was dismissed off Jaydev Unadkat's bowling in the 15th over when the modern-day master tried to pull one over the square leg boundary but was caught by Abdul Samad

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) talisman Virat Kohli may have mustered a fifty against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Thursday, but his knock wasn’t without its inconsistencies. A clear difference in approach and his strike rate was evident between his batting during the powerplay and after the fielding restrictions were relaxed.

Kohli, often criticized for his calculative approach with five fielders outside the circle, once again showed a tendency to slow down post-powerplay.

Virat Kohli and his tendency to slow down after powerplay

The former RCB skipper started aggressively, amassing 32 runs in the powerplay overs. He looked in great touch as he played some delightful lofted strokes against SRH pacers. However, his scoring pace dipped dramatically afterwards. He could only manage 19 runs in the next 25 balls faced, with his strike rate plummeting significantly as the spinners came into the attack. The 35-year-old failed to find gaps at will and was stuck in the later part of his innings.

Fortunately for Kohli and RCB, Rajat Patidar came to the rescue with a blistering 20-ball fifty, ensuring the momentum remained with the Challengers. Patidar’s knock effectively masked Kohli’s struggles and propelled RCB towards a competitive total over 200.

Numbers Tell the Story

A closer look at the numbers paints a clearer picture of Kohli’s contrasting strike rates:

  • Powerplay (Overs 1-6): 32 runs off 22 balls (Strike Rate: 145.45)
  • Post-Powerplay (Overs 7-15): 19 runs off 25 balls (Strike Rate: 76.00)

The data reveals a significant drop of nearly 70 runs in strike rate between the two phases. This was not a one-off for the IPL legend. Instead, this has been a pattern for Kohli in IPL 2024, whose strike rate dips down from 155.4 in the powerplay overs to 123.3 in the middle-overs (7-15).

What do Kohli’s limitations mean for Team India?

This inconsistency in approach has become a talking point for Kohli and the Indian cricket fraternity. This is a majorly due to the forthcoming T20 World Cup in June, where Kohli will most certainly play all the matches for the Men in Blue.

Kohli’s struggles after the powerplay pose a challenge for India’s T20 World Cup hopes. While his experience is vital, his trend of slowing down questions about his role in the batting order. While India have made a conscious effort to play aggressively throughout the 20 overs, Kohli’s slowdown puts pressure on the other batsmen to score quickly. Against quality bowling, this will be a risky strategy in high-pressure World Cup matches.

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