Updated April 26th, 2024 at 15:59 IST

Gavaskar lambasts Virat: 'You have strike rate of 118. Just singles, singles and singles from Kohli'

Sunil Gavaskar's on-air criticism of Virat Kohli takes center stage during the RCB vs. SRH match, drawing attention to escalating concerns.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Sunil Gavaskar slams Virat Kohli's innings vs SRH | Image:PTI/File Photo

Thursday's IPL match saw an intense battle between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). RCB posted a formidable total of 206/7 in their 20 overs, with Rajat Patidar emerging as the Player of the Match for his explosive 50 off just 20 deliveries. Star batter Virat Kohli's steady 51 and Cameron Green's unbeaten 37 bolstered RCB's innings. SRH fought hard but fell short, managing 171/8 in their 20 overs. Shahbaz Ahmed's resilient 40* and Abhishek Sharma's quickfire 31 were commendable efforts. RCB emerged victorious by 35 runs, showcasing their dominance in this thrilling T20 encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Also Read: I'll sleep better tonight: Faf du Plessis after RCB's win over SRH


Virat Kohli failed to impress Sunil Gavaskar despite win in the RCB vs SRH 

After Royal Challengers Bengaluru ended their six-match losing record to win a 2024 Indian Premier League, Kohli's fifty-one-run innings from forty-three balls attracted notice—and criticism. During the first part of the match, social media conversations revolved around Kohli's alleged "slow" play. After the Powerplay, a number of people expressed their displeasure with Kohli's slower tempo, among them Sunil Gavaskar.


Known for his unwavering backing of Kohli, Sunil Gavaskar expressed surprise at the Indian player's slowing down after a quick start. At the start of the Powerplay, Kohli batted with aggression, scoring 32 runs off his opening 18 balls as RCB quickly piled up runs to reach 61/1. With a six and four boundaries, Kohli made his intentions clear. But Kohli's scoring rate fell sharply as the field grew and Rajat Patidar assumed command, with just 19 runs off his next 25 balls. Gavaskar's dissatisfaction was apparent as he was unable to control his annoyance when voicing his opinions on television. During the commentary (via Star Sports), Sunil Gavaskar said: 

"It's just been singles, singles and singles from Kohli. There is [Dinesh] Karthik to come; there is [Mahipal] Lomror to come. You've got to try and take a few risks now. Look at Patidar. He had already hit three sixes in that over. If he wanted, he could have taken a single or left the ball for a wide. But no, he went for it because the opportunity was there," 

“That's the approach RCB now need. Yes, Kohli has played and missed; it's not easy, because when you've been in your shell, you've just been working the ones, suddenly to connect is not going to be easy. But that is what Kohli needs to do; needs to attempt. He has got to attempt the big shots now.”

"In the middle, he just seemed to have lost touch. I am not sure of the exact numbers, but I think from 31-32 to the time he got out, he did not hit a boundary. So at the end of the day, when he got out when you are facing the strike in the first ball of the innings and you get out in the 14th or the 15th over, you have got strike rate of 118, that's not what your team expects from you," 

Also Read: Virat Kohli thanks fans as RCB beat SRH by 35 runs in IPL 2024


While his companion Patidar, as mentioned by Gavaskar, scored his fifty in just 19 balls, Kohli reached his fifty off 37 deliveries. With a quick pace, this was also Kohli's third fifty of the 2024 IPL season. While Kohli's 51 runs were noteworthy—especially since he made four straight IPL half-centuries in Hyderabad—the fact that he and the RCB were unable to score a boundary for nine overs is cause for serious concern. Jaydev Unadkat, who made his 100th IPL match and earned figures of 3/30, was the one who dismissed Kohli.

Luckily, Patidar's aggressive innings—best remembered for his attack against Mayank Markande, in which he hit four sixes in an over—combined with Cameron Green's 37 runs from 20 balls to provide RCB with an adequate foundation on which to post 206/7. Sunrisers Hyderabad could only muster 171/8 in response, and they lost by a final margin of 35 runs, demonstrating the strength of this score. Given Kohli's somewhat slower pace during his innings, Gavaskar noted that RCB may have faced serious difficulties if not for the encouragement that Green and Patidar supplied.


Published April 26th, 2024 at 10:55 IST