'Strike rates are overrated' - Gambhir feels criticizing Virat Kohli for slow batting is uncalled for

‘Strike rates are overrated’ – Gambhir feels criticizing Virat Kohli for slow batting is uncalled for

Virat Kohli has been placed under scrutiny for his slow batting in the middle overs in IPL.

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli
Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli (Photo Source: Instagram and IPL/BCCI)

The Virat Kohli-led RCB has had an impressive stint in IPL 2021. The team has exuded some great character in the tournament so far and has made it to the playoffs as well. The skipper of the side has been instrumental in providing flying starts to the team alongside Devdutt Padikkal.

Kohli is often seen opening the innings pretty dominantly before slowing down a bit post the powerplay. He has been placed under scrutiny for his slow batting in the middle overs. The former India cricketer and commentator Gautam Gambhir has however come forward to defend Kohli on the same.

According to Gambhir, the strike rate is an overrated thing, and that it is unfair to expect that Kohli will play with Maxwell’s temperament and still fetch in huge runs and vice versa. He further added that the combination of different skills is what makes a team successful.

“Strike rates are very overrated. You can expect Kohli to have a 600-run season but you can’t expect that from Maxwell, and you can never have Maxwell batting at a [strike rate of] 120-125 and expect Kohli to be batting on 160. So both of them are different and it’s a combination of everyone that makes a successful side,” Gambhir said while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.

That is Virat Kohli’s natural game: Gautam Gambhir

The former cricketer reckoned that Kohli has taken the mantle of providing a steady start to the team in the power play and then expects the middle-order to take the momentum further for the side. He termed the RCB skipper as a world-class player and said that he will perform his best when he plays his natural game.

“(It) depends on the wicket and I believe the reason is Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. He feels that those two guys can accelerate and he can play an anchor role in the second half, which he has done really well. That’s probably why he prefers to open the batting, get momentum in the first six overs and then continue batting while someone else from the other end can accelerate.

That is his natural game, but if he goes out of that, it will be difficult for him to score a lot of runs because he doesn’t have the same power or skill as AB de Villiers or, for that matter, Glenn Maxwell. But look, you need all kinds of players in your XI and Virat Kohli is world-class, no doubt about that,” Gambhir added.