Former England captain Michael Vaughan has reckoned that most teams will deploy spin bowlers against star Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Virat Kohli for the remainder of IPL 2023.
Kohli scored his fifth half-century in the ongoing edition when RCB played the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Bengaluru on Wednesday (April 26). The former Indian skipper’s 54 in 37 balls went in vain as RCB fell short by 21 runs in a 201-run daunting 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. However, his dismissal against KKR came at the hands of Andre Russell thanks to a brilliant catch by 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 bowl spin against Virat because of his strike rate against them. I think he has a 107 strike rate against spin. So most teams are going to bowl spin against Virat Kohli and they are going to put three fielders at the mid-wicket.”
“I think his mindset after the powerplay is almost to be there at the 18th (over). I don’t think he is thinking about boundaries enough. I think he can (hit boundaries) because he is got the game, the power and the timing to be able to go and hit the six.”
“Can’t rely on the cameos from that middle-order” – Michael Vaughan on RCB’s batting approach
RCB have heavily relied on their international star players to score runs in their last 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 total 1365.
The inexperienced middle-order along with an insipid Dinesh Karthik has failed to create impact and that is an area of concern for the team management.
Speaking on the need for RCB middle-order batters to take risks and fire runs, Vaughan said:
“They can’t rely on the cameos from that middle-order. He (Virat Kohli) is going to continue with the mentor of that first six. It’s like a team take a couple of more risks.
RCB will play their next IPL 2023 match against the Lucknow Super Giants at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on May 1.