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IPL 2021: “He should not be the tickler, he should be the puncher” – Sunil Gavaskar’s advice to Virat Kohli

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Sunil Gavaskar has urged Virat Kohli to play his aggressive game and not be a ‘tickler’ in IPL 2021. The former India batsman pointed out how the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper is looking to nudge the ball down to third-man early on in his innings instead of playing some of his usual punching cover drives.

Virat Kohli scored just 12 off 11 balls in the RCB’s one-run win over the Delhi Capitals on Tuesday. Speaking on Star Sports, Gavaskar explained that the Team India captain is not playing to his strengths in the current edition of the IPL.

“Yes, he hasn’t fired. He sets such high standards for himself that every time he comes out to bat, people expect a big innings from him, a 50-plus innings from him. I just want to say maybe he should not be the tickler, he should be the puncher, What he tried to do today (on Tuesday) was he tried to tickle the ball for a single, he should be looking to hit the ball in such a way the way he drives, the way he punches it around the extra cover area so that’s exactly what he has to do,” Gavaskar said.

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Gavaskar wants Virat Kohli to play straight instead of looking to guide balls towards the third man region.

“He has got to play it straight, he has got to not look to guide the ball to the third man because you want somebody like a Virat Kohli to be punching as he does. That flick that he played, those are his strengths. He must keep playing to his strengths,” Gavaskar added.

Virat Kohli isn’t having the best of IPL campaigns, given his lofty standards. The RCB skipper has amassed 163 runs in six games at an average of 32.60, while his strike rate reads 126.35. Barring his knock of 72* against the Rajasthan Royals, Kohli has mostly flattered to deceive in IPL 2021.

“Hats off to AB de Villiers” – Virat Kohli after RCB’s win over DC

Following RCB’s one-run win over DC on Tuesday, Virat Kohli was all praise for AB de Villiers, whose brilliant knock of 75* off 42 balls changed the complexion of the game.

“AB doesn’t like me saying this, but he hasn’t played competitive cricket for 5 months, but if you look at him bat it doesn’t feel like he doesn’t play international cricket anymore. Hats off to him, keeps doing it again and again for us. Such an asset for us. I’ll say this again (smiles). He hasn’t played for five months, just watch that innings,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Despite Virat Kohli not firing on all cylinders this season, the RCB have managed to win five out of their six games so far.

The franchise are among the favorites to clinch one playoff spot and it remains to be seen whether they can go the distance to claim their first IPL title.


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