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Vintage Virat Kohli emerges! IPL masterclass hints at T20 World Cup spin-slaying strategy

Vintage Virat Kohli emerges! IPL masterclass hints at T20 World Cup spin-slaying strategy

In his innings of 92 from 47 deliveries, Virat Kohli slog swept his way to 26 runs. This could well be an indication that he would do the same at T20 World Cup.

It is not very often that we see Virat Kohli bringing the sweep, or the slog sweep to much use. In the past he did play the shot, but over the last few years, it’s come down drastically. But of what one saw of Kohli’s 47-ball 92 vs PBKS on Thursday, 26 of his runs were scored in slog sweep, as per ESPNcricinfo’s logs.

The former RCB skipper tackled the two leg-spinners — Rahul Chahar and Liam Livinstone pretty well. One of the factors contributing to his 195 strike rate was also the slog sweep, that brought him some crucial runs. Cut to the T20 World Cup, this might just a very important ploy in the West Indies, where the pitches would be low and slow.

Virat Kohli’s New Ploy to Tackle Spinners

Not just the PBKS match, but Kohli had done so repeatedly in the twin matches against GT, that had the likes of Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, and R Sai Kishore in their ranks. But by his own admission, it is not something he has practiced for in the nets.

“I’ve brought out the slog-sweep to the spinners (laughs). I just mentally put myself in that situation and I didn’t practice it at all,” Kohli said after the match. “I know I can hit it because I’ve hit it a lot in the past. So, I just felt like I need to take a bit more risk and for me that shot was something that I used to hit regularly back in the day. And that’s allowing me to hit off the back foot as well because I’m always looking to expose that side of the field against the spin.

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“For me that has been a massive factor in this IPL. So, I think it just takes a bit more conviction and take out that thought that props up: ‘what if you get out’. I’ve been managing to stay ahead of that thought in this IPL and that’s really helped me in the middle overs in this IPL, keeping my strike rate up and keeping the scoring rate going for the team as well.”

That could just be one way to get some quick runs in the middle-overs during the T20 World Cup, where Kohli would be expected to not just open the innings, but also anchor the innings, while all the others would look to put the foot on the accelerator.

RCB Still in the Hunt

With four wins on the trot, RCB is still not out of IPL 2024. But the road to make it to the playoffs only gets tougher from here. They need to of course win their remaining two matches, and that too by huge margins so that their NRR improves considerably. They would also hope and pray that CSK, LSG and DC lose their remaining matches.

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