RCB vs CSK: Ambati Rayudu gives a no-nonsense verdict on Virat Kohli-Sunil Gavaskar row

Updated - 14 May 2024, 11:39 AM

Ambati Rayudu and Virat Kohli
Ambati Rayudu and Virat Kohli (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former Indian cricketer Ambati Rayudu defended Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) batter Virat Kohli over his strike rate in the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL). Ambati Rayudu stated that the strike rate depends on various factors, such as pitch conditions and match situations.

Questions arose about Virat Kohli's batting approach in T20s before the IPL 2024. Many fans and experts said that the former Indian skipper shouldn't make it to the squad for the T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies and the USA, which is scheduled to be immediately after the IPL.

However, Kohli has silenced his critics with his performances. He is currently leading in the race for the Orange Cap. He has scored 661 runs at an average of 66.10 and a strike rate of 155.16, including a century and five fifties. He has scored 78 runs more than second-placed Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Entirely Depends On The Surface - Ambati Rayudu

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Ambati Rayudu stated that it's unfair to criticize players based on their collective strike rate. Rayudu argued that criticism should only be warranted if a player consistently fails to meet the required scoring rate.

"I think about the strike rate. It entirely depends on the surface and the given match. You cannot have a collective strike rate and really criticize anybody for that. On a given day, if you are batting under par, you say you need to score 200 and with your strike rate, you can only score 160, then you should be criticized," Rayudu said.

 Virat Kohli Should Not Be Criticised - Ambati Rayudu

Ambati Rayudu stated that Virat Kohli has been batting beautifully, particularly his effectiveness against spinners. The former middle-order batter stated that Kohli should not be criticized for any format, anywhere in the world.

"But on a given day, you can only score 140, like how Ruturaj got 40 off 40, that's a crucial knock. I think collective stats should not really be taken into consideration and Virat Kohli has been batting beautifully specially against spinners this year, he has been playing those slog sweeps onside and I don't think he should be criticized. He should not be criticized for any format, anywhere in the world," Rayudu added.

Virat Kohli holds the second-best strike rate among the top five highest run scorers this season. Only Travis Head (201.89) and Sanju Samson (158.30) have better strike rates than Kohli. Ruturaj Gaikwad (141.50) and Sai Sudharsan have lower strike rates than the former RCB skipper.

Kohli has played a pivotal role in RCB's comeback this season. The Faf du Plessis-led team is currently in fifth place in the points table with 12 points in 13 matches. The Bengaluru team recorded five consecutive wins to keep them in contention for a playoff berth in the ongoing tournament.

Virat Kohli will be next seen in action when the Royal Challengers Bangalore take on the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their last league stage match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, May 19. RCB needs to win the last game by a significant margin to surpass CSK's net run rate.

Also read: James Anderson reveals the actual reason why he decided to retire from professional cricket