Former Indian paceman Ajit Agarkar has weighed in on Virat Kohli’s captaincy and batting position following Royal Challengers Bangalore’s convincing 97-run defeat to Kings XI Punjab. Virat Kohli endured a night to forget on the field and with the bat as Punjab outplayed RCB in all the facets. Kohli, who batted at number four in that game, drew criticism from Ajit Agarkar.
Virat Kohli dropped opposing captain KL Rahul twice during KXIP’s innings as he went on to score 132 off only 69 deliveries, destroying their bowling attack. Bangalore lost Devdutt Padikkal quickly in pursuit of 207; however, Kohli decided to promote Josh Philippe at number three, who could not make much difference either. The skipper followed next in the batting order, making only a single from five deliveries as Sheldon Cottrell dismissed him.
Ajit Agarkar understood that the three-time runners-up hardly remained in the chase; however, asserted that Virat Kohli must never bat lower than number three. Agarkar cited the right-handed batsman as the one, who likes rising to the occasions, playing match-defining knocks, and was highly surprised not to see him come at number three.
“Even though they were never even in the chase because they had lost too many wickets. And that is the other thing. 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 told ESPN Cricinfo.
Ajit Agarkar criticises Virat Kohli for giving Shivam Dube the 20th over:
Following Gautam Gambhir, Ajit Agarkar echoed the same comments of questioning Kohli’s decision to give Shivam Dube the final over. The Mumbai-born admitted that Dube bowled two productive overs; however, a captain should bring in their best bowler when a batsman is batting in three figures. Agarkar acknowledged that a couple of deliveries could create a substantial difference in T20 cricket.
“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,” the 41-year old added.