Star batter Virat Kohli finally found his run-scoring mojo as he struck his first half-century of the ongoing IPL season, albeit in a losing cause. After a string of low scores including two golden ducks, Kohli hit 58 off 53 balls to help Royal Challengers Bangalore reach 170 for six against Gujarat Titans. But the IPL newbies overhauled the total after David Miller (39) and Rahul Tewatia (43) put on an unbeaten stand of 79 at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. (Follow IPL 2022 Coverage)
Kohli’s innings received mixed reactions. While some lauded the 33-year-old batter for getting runs under his belt, a few questioned his strike rate. And that makes sense given the fact that Kohli’s fifty wasn’t enough to power his team to the victory. In his first 10 balls in the game, Kohli scored 14 runs, which comprised of three boundaries, all against Mohammed Shami. In his next 30 balls, he scored 31 runs with three boundaries and a six. He eventually reached his fifty in 45 balls.
Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen said Kohli would be “fuming” that his runs didn’t help his team win the game. Pietersen compared the Indian with football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and underlined how the two athletes come with huge brand value.
“What he needs to do is to have a look at Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo. Two similar brands in their different teams and in their sports. You have Virat Kohli right at the top of cricket, his brand is right at the top of cricket. Cristiano Ronaldo is right at the top of football. One plays for Manchester United, and one plays for RCB and India. Those are big brands and they are going to be talking points. Those big brands also want to maintain their status in the game by winning,” Pietersen said on Star Sports.
“Virat Kohli’s greatest attribute, how many games he has won for India while chasing. Virat Kohli is my greatest batter in this country because he has won so many games for India chasing. That is something you look at, that is something he cherishes and is so proud of.
“This knock yesterday, he would be looking and thinking some beautiful shots, absolutely fantastic shots and I felt good. But I know he is a champion, he is a winner and I know that he would be fuming that those weren’t enough for the win,” he further stated.
Kohli so far has scored 186 runs in 10 games at an average of 20.67. The mercurial batter will look to notch up another big score when Royal Challengers Bangalore lock horns with Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.