Former England captain Michael Vaughan has reckoned that most teams will field spin bowling against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star Virat Kohli for the remainder of IPL 2023.
Kohli scored his fifth half-century in the current edition when RCB played Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Bengaluru on Wednesday (26 April). The former Indian captain’s 54 off 37 balls were wasted as RCB fell short by 21 runs in a dismal 201-run chase against a spin-heavy KKR bowling unit.
Kohli has a strike rate of 113.76 against spinners in IPL 2023 so far and has been dismissed against them four times in six innings. His dismissal against KKR, however, came at the hands of Andre Russell thanks to a brilliant catch from Venkatesh Iyer.
Speaking to Cricbuzz after the RCB vs KKR match, Michael Vaughan mentioned the tactics the opposition could use to keep Virat Kohli at bay. He said:
“A lot of teams are going to spin bowl Virat because of his strike rate against them. I think he has a 107 strike rate against Spin. So most teams are going to spin bowl Virat Kohli and they’re going to put up three fielders in the middle of the wicket.”
“I think his mindset after the power play is almost to be there at 18 (plus). I don’t think he’s thinking about the limits enough. I think he can (reach the limits) because he has the game, the power and the momentum. so I can go and hit the six.”
“I can’t trust cameos from that middle order” – Michael Vaughan on RCB’s batting approach
RCB have relied heavily on their international star players to score runs in their latest innings. The likes of Virat Kohli (333), Faf du Plessis (442) and Glenn Maxwell (258) have contributed 73% of all runs scored by RCB – 1053 runs out of 1365 total.
The inexperienced middle order coupled with a bland Dinesh Karthik have failed to create an impact and that is an area of concern for the team’s management.
Speaking about the need for RCB’s mid-level batsmen to take a chance and shoot it up, Vaughan said:
“They can’t trust cameos of that middle order. He (Virat Kohli) will continue to mentor the first six. It’s like a team taking a couple more risks.
RCB will play their next IPL 2023 match against Lucknow Super Giants at BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on May 1.