A magnificent hundred under his belt to put his team in IPL 2023 playoff contention, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter Virat Kohli on Thursday (May 18) said he “does not care what anyone says on the outside” on his not-so-great strike rate in the IPL.
Kohli struck exactly 100 off 63 balls and shared 172 runs with captain Faf du Plessis (71) to help RCB chase down the target of 187 with four balls to spare for an eight-wicket win against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
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This was Kohli’s record-equalling sixth century in the IPL. He has joined his former teammate Chris Gayle at the top of IPL’s most century makers list.
“I never look at past numbers. I put myself under so much stress already. I don’t give myself enough credit sometimes despite playing impact knocks. (So) I don’t care what anyone says on the outside. Because that is their opinion,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation, when asked about his not-so-great record against SRH.
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“When you are in that situation yourself, you know how to win games of cricket. I have done that for a long period of time, it is not like when I play I don’t win games for my team. I take pride in playing according to the situation,” said Kohli, who was named player of the match.
Kohli, who has often been criticised for slowing down in the middle overs, said he would want to remain true to his technique and avoid playing fancy shots.
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“I’ve never been a guy who plays so many fancy shots. We have to play 12 months of the year. For me, it’s not about playing fancy shots and throwing my wicket away. It’s Test cricket (coming up) after the IPL. I have to stay true to my technique and find ways to win games for my team.
“Quite special considering the magnitude of the game. Thought SRH got a very good score. Ball was gripping as well. Faf’s been on a different level. I’ve had a quiet couple of games. The way I was hitting in the nets wasn’t transitioning into the middle.”
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Asked what is the secret about him and du Plessis performing so well as a pair, Kohli joked, “I think it’s the tattoos.”
“Very similar to how AB and me batting together. There’s a good sense of where we (he and du Plessis) are and how to take the game forward. It’s been a beautiful transition for us coming together for RCB at the top and making an impact.”
Talking about crowd support for RCB even if it was an away match, Kohli said, “Blessed and grateful for the support. I told Faf that it was like a home game, cheering for RCB and taking my name as well. I feel you can’t create this. I haven’t forced anyone to support me. It’s an amazing position to be in that you can provide happiness to so many people.”
Du Plessis said his team were clinical with the bat and the ball.
“Amazing chase. We felt it was a good wicket walking off and that 200 was the par score despite Klaasen’s ton. Not too many balls that spun or stuck on the wicket so we wanted to play positively.
“We were clinical with the bat today and ball last game. Kohli and I complement each other well, hit different areas and are good mates on and off well which works for us.
“Taking the momentum home is key. Away conditions are tough. Chinnaswamy will be amazing for another must-win game for us.”