Virat Kohli struck back at his detractors, declaring, “I don't care what anyone says on the outside,” after guiding Royal Challengers Bangalore to a crushing eight-wicket victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL 2023 match.
Virat has surpassed 500 runs in the current season, but his strike rate has received harsh criticism. Questions about Kohli's batting strategy and his ability to bat at a respectable pace were raised after his 46-ball 55 against the Delhi Capitals, which came in a losing cause.
However, Kohli dispelled any misgivings on Thursday in Hyderabad by scoring his first IPL century in four years (100 off 63 balls), putting RCB in a strong position to advance to the playoffs. �
Virat, who needed to score 187 runs to win, looked sharp from the start and maintained speed throughout his innings. He and Faf du Plessis put up a huge opening partnership of 172 runs, which helped RCB beat the mark with four balls remaining.
“I don't always give myself enough credit since I already put so much burden on myself. I don't give a damn what people on the outside think. That is what they think. When you find yourself in such circumstance, you are aware of how to win cricket matches. I've been doing it for a while now. It's not like I don't help my team win games when I play. At the post-game presentation, Kohli added, “I take pleasure in playing the scenario.
I was speaking with Aiden at the time and said, “I've never been a guy who plays so many fancy shots. We must compete every month of the year. It's not about playing flashy strokes and losing my wicket in my opinion. After the IPL, we have Test cricket, so I need to stick to my game plan. I get confidence and the team gains confidence when I have an influence in a crucial game, he said.
Kohli said that his knock against SRH was “special” since RCB needed to win to maintain their playoff ambitions and control their own destiny.
“Considering the importance of the game, rather unique. I believed SRH received a very nice grade. Ball also had a grip. We want a strong beginning. I didn't anticipate being 172/0. However, that is how well Faf and I have performed so far. Faf has operated at a higher level. I've played a number of calm games. In the previous 2-3 games, I wasn't moving my hitting towards the center, the former RCB captain said.
“Wanted to have an effect, and my plan was to start going after the bowlers with the first ball, like I've done all season. Although there was a lull, I wanted to ratchet up the pace when it was appropriate. Never consider the past (especially bad results versus SRH). Was describing to the youngsters how people saw me as an IPL player, saying things like, “He's fine, few impact knocks.” My sixth IPL hundred,” he continued.
The 34-year-old hitter also expressed gratitude to the audience and his followers for supporting RCB.
“Today's crowd was incredible here as well. Faf was also told. It just felt like a game at home for us. They were clapping for us and using my name. I don't think you can make this,” replied Kohli.
“I haven't made people feel obligated to follow me or be motivated by me. On the field, I'm simply my own self. On the field, I always act extremely honestly, and I believe it connects with people. Being in a position where you can provide joy to so many people is great. When people grin at me as I perform, it is something I love to see, he said.
With their victory on Thursday, RCB improved their playoff prospects and climbed to the fourth slot in the points standings. On Sunday, they will play their last league match at the Chinnaswamy against the Gujarat Titans.