‘I know I can hit it because…’: RCB opener Virat Kohli on playing slog-sweep against spinners in IPL

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Public TV English
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BENGALURU : Ahead of the fixture against Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League 2024, the Royal Challengers Bengaluru opener Virat Kohli revealed the reason behind playing the slog-sweep shot against the spinners in the ongoing 17th edition of the cash-rich league.

DC will be locking horns against RCB at Bengaluru on Sunday. Both teams are in contention for a playoff spot. The Capitals are in the fifth place in the points table with six wins and six losses and 12 points. On the other hand, the Bengaluru franchise are in the seventh spot with five wins, seven losses and 10 points.

The Delhi franchise had registered a win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their previous game on May 7 while the Faf Du Plessis-led side had beaten Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Thursday. During the game, fans would be looking forward to going big one more time not only for his team’s sake but also to complete this milestone.

The former India skipper asserted that the understanding of the game from so many years allows him to practise less and stay mentally switched on.
“For me, it’s still quality over quantity. More so now, at this stage of my career, heading into 36. The understanding of my game over so many years allows me to practice less, and still stay mentally switched on. And some added challenges in terms of improving your own game. Certain aspects of the game, you want to get better at. It’s an ever-evolving process. I am not a guy who wants to sit around saying ‘this is the way I play’ and not improve on the things I need to,” said Kohli in a video posted by IPL on X.

Kohli further explained about his slog-sweep shot against the spinners.

“I brought out the slog-sweep to the spinners. It was me mentally putting myself in that situation. I did not practice that at all. I know I can hit it because I have played that shot a lot in the past. So I just felt like I needed to take a bit more risk and for me, that shot was something that I used to hit regularly back in the days. That shot is now allowing me to hit off the backfoot as well. I am always looking to expose that side of the field against the spin. It’s been a massive factor for me in the IPL,” the right-hand batter added.

“It just takes a bit more conviction and put out that thought that props up ‘what if I get out?’. I have been managing to stay ahead of that thought. And that has allowed me to keep my strike rate up in the middle overs and scoring for my team as well,” the Delhi-born player concluded.

The 36-year-old cricketer is just one century away from completing a century of centuries in professional cricket.

In the ongoing season, Virat holds the Orange Cap for the most runs, with 634 runs in 12 matches at an average of 70.44 and a strike rate of 153.51. He has scored a century and five fifties and his best score is 113*.

Virat has an illustrious record across all the formats of the game. While he would not be the be the first one or even among the first top-ten men to have 100 professional cricket centuries, it is still a fantastic feat in Virat’s legendary career.

In 145 first-class games, Virat has scored 11,097 runs at an average of 50.21 and a strike rate of 55.96, with 36 centuries and 38 fifties. His best score is 254*. This also includes his tally from 113 Tests for India, in which he has scored 8,848 runs at an average of 49.15, with 29 centuries and 30 fifties. His best score is 254*.In 326 List-A games, Virat has scored 15,290 runs at an average of 57.48 and a strike rate of 93.61, with 54 centuries and 80 fifties. His best score is 183. This also includes the run-tally from his 292 ODIs, in which he scored 13,848 runs at an average of 58.67, with 50 centuries and 72 fifties. His best score is 183.

In 388 T20 games, Virat has scored 12,628 runs at an average of 42.09 and a strike rate of 134.31, with nine centuries and 96 fifties. His best score is 122*. This also includes his numbers for India. In 117 T20s, he has scored 4,037 runs at an average of 51.75, with a century and 37 fifties. His best score is 122*.

Virat has been fantastic against spin in this IPL, scoring at a strike rate of 138.82 against them. He has scored 261 runs in 188 balls against spin, dismissed thrice. He has smashed 15 fours and 13 sixes against spin. His average against spin is 87.00. He has made a marked improvement in his spin game, often utilising slog sweep and sweep against the moving ball. How Virat plays against spin will be once again in the spotlight, since the T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA this year will witness the veteran play at spin-friendly, slower surfaces.

Virat has played 54 dot balls against spin, taken 89 singles and 54 doubles against spin. In the past five seasons, Virat’s overall SR against spin has been: 113.46, 108.08, 100.00, 108.91 and 130.14. His strike rate against spin was at its best in the 2016 season, where he struck at 152.30 and 2015 season, where he scored his runs at 151.21 against spin bowling. (ANI)

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