Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar has criticized Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli for making two major mistakes during their match against Kings XI Punjab on Thursday in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season.
In the first innings, Kohli went to Shivam Dube to bowl the 20th and the most crucial over of the game. Although Dube had two wickets after conceding just 10 runs in his first two-over spell, Agarkar believed Kohli shouldn’t have gone to him because of the KXIP skipper KL Rahul’s presence. Rahul was completely set in that time after completing a magnificent century. The last over cost 23 runs to RCB as KXIP posted 206 runs on the board.
In the ESPNCricinfo T20 Timeout show, Agarkar said, “I understand Dube had a couple of decent overs. But when you come into the last over, when one batsman is set and batting at 100+, you would want your main bowler to come and bowl. Particularly, in the last over, because in T20 cricket, a couple of deliveries could make a huge difference.”
While chasing, RCB lost wickets early and were 4/3 at one stage. Coming at no. 4, Kohli went to the pavilion after scoring just one run in five balls. Agarkar believes Kohli should never bat at below number 3 in this monstrous RCB batting line up. The 42-year-old added he would prefer for him to open the innings but Australian skipper Aaron Finch’s presence will not let him make that happen.
“Virat Kohli should never bat lower than No. 3. Yes, because they have Aaron Finch so he is not opening. But he just cannot bat lower than No. 3. These are the games in which he takes extra responsibility or rises to the occasion. He likes to get in the game. I was a little surprised he did not come to bat at no. 3. Not great decision making on the day,” Agarkar said.
After winning by 10 runs in their opening match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kohli’s side suffered a humongous 97-run defeat to KXIP. They will next take on Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.