'True to method' is crucial for all-format Kohli

Given that there is so much cricket played throughout the year, Virat Kohli dismissed talk about his "numbers" in T20 cricket and said that as an all-format player, he would like to "stay true to his technique."

Speaking to the broadcasters after his sixth IPL century helped RCB complete a methodical chase of 187 in Hyderabad to maintain their playoff aspirations, Kohli claimed he isn't worried by the outside noise and that his methods may seem conventional.

"As an IPL player, I'm viewed as 'okay, he's fine, has a few impact knocks'. My sixth hundred in the IPL. Because I already put myself through a lot of stress, I don't always give myself enough credit. I don't give a damn what people on the outside think. After RCB's eight-wicket victory, Kohli observed, "That's their perspective.

Heinrich Klaasen's first IPL century earlier that evening was overshadowed by Virat Kohli's 63-ball 100 in a 172-run opening stand with captain Faf du Plessis, who also scored 100 runs, as they guided their team to victory. With a strike rate of 158.73, which is higher than his season's strike rate of 135.86, Kohli was able to keep up his scoring intent for the entirety of his inning. He timed his chase brilliantly.

This season, which has seen a record number of 200+ totals both set and easily chased down, Kohli's conservative style has frequently garnered criticism from detractors for slowing down after the initial burst in the PowerPlays.

"You know how to win cricket matches when you find yourself in that scenario yourself. I've been doing that for a while now. It's not like I don't win games for my team when I play, Kohli added. "I take pride in how I handle the matter. I've never played as many complicated shots as I do now. We have to play throughout the entire year, Aiden [Markram] and I were talking about this.

"Playing flashy strokes and losing my wicket is not what it is about for me. After the IPL, we have Test cricket, so I need to stick to my game plan. When I have an influence in a crucial game, it boosts both my confidence and the team's confidence.

With 538 runs in 13 innings at an average of 44.83, Kohli's maiden hundred of the season and first in the IPL in four years helped him move into the top five run scorers. After failing to see his recent hard work in the nets pay off on the field, Kohli says he is relieved to have addressed "the dip" in his hitting form.

"Considering the significance of the game, it [the innings] is extremely special... I've played a number of calm games. In the last 2-3 games, my approach of hitting in the nets wasn't transferring to the middle. I wanted to have an effect, so I planned to start pursuing the bowlers with the first ball, as I've done all season. There was a slump, but I wanted to rebound when it was appropriate.

RCB, who are now fourth in the standings, must defeat Gujarat Titans at home in their final league encounter in order to qualify for the IPL 2023 playoffs.


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