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‘It’s fueled his fire’: Hayden highlights positive aspect of Kohli-Gavaskar strike rate row | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli has shown remarkable consistency in the IPL 2024, leading the competition with 634 runs from 12 matches this season. Despite his outstanding performance, some critics questioned his strike rate of 153.51, suggesting he wasn’t scoring quickly enough for a top-order batsman.
To silence his critics, Kohli responded emphatically by smashing 92 runs off just 47 balls against Punjab Kings on Thursday night, keeping Bengaluru alive in the playoff race.The former RCB captain subtly responded to critics who had questioned his intent. However, his comments also drew criticism from former India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar.
Former Australia batter Matthew Hayden also joined in the raging debate saying these things are bound to happen with technical and conventional cricketers like Kohli.
“I understand from a fan’s point of view that Virat Kohli has copped a bit of criticism around the strike-rate. It’ll always be the case because he’s a very conventional cricketer. He’s a very technical cricketer, which makes him great across all three formats.”
“He’s an extremely fit warrior. So he’ll be able to take games deep in Test match cricket, one day cricket and in fact, T20 cricket as well,” said Hayden on Star Sports.
Hayden remarked that Kohli effectively silenced his critics by addressing the shortcomings highlighted in the media and focusing on his game.
“But one of the big concerns that we’ve all had is through the middle. And so, like all great champions, if there is something out there in the media or there’s something where you can feel yourself to improve, then you get about making your business to do so. And I sense that that’s exactly what’s happened to Virat Kohli this season,” he added.
“You know, those middle phases being that 138 strike-rate against spin, that’s critical for India because international sides they’ll line up with spin. Every side will have two, sometimes three spinners as their resource, and they’ll use it to slow down a Kohli who, inside that powerplay has got such a huge energy and momentum and creates great pressure on opposition,” said Hayden.
The Australian legend then cited examples of former cricketers who responded to criticism by letting their performances speak for themselves.
“So, I love the way that it’s fueled his fire and fueled some improvement and, you know, look out. A dangerous athlete is one that’s been wounded. There have been a few in my lifetime that I can remember.”
“Steve Waugh never used to have a word to him. Kevin Pietersen, he used to love the pressure. Brian Lara, Don’t talk to him. Why would you do that? He’ll just smash you. So, guys that are of that kind of quality, if you try and needle them, all they do is get better,” said Hayden.

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