Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach Simon Katich brushed aside criticism over Virat Kohli's approach in the middle overs at IPL 2020, saying It's unfair to judge the skipper based on numbers.
Virat Kohli finished as the second-highest run-getter for RCB at IPL 2020 with 466 runs from 15 matches, only 7 runs behind young opener Devdutt Padikkal. However, Kohli's strike rate -- 121.35 was seen as a cause for concern. The RCB captain often struggled to get going in the middle-overs as RCB had the lowest scoring rate among the 8 teams in the said period.
However, Simon Katich defended Virat Kohli, saying the RCB captain's approach was a byproduct of the situation he found himself in with wickets falling around him, more often than not. Katich pointed out that Kohli was at his best when he hit an unbeaten 90 against Chennai Super Kings but it was not easy to walk in after the powerlay and start an innings, especially after the pitches slowed down in the UAE towards the later half of their campaign.
Royal Challengers Bangalore's bid to win their maiden IPL title came to an end as they were handed a 5-wicket defeat by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator on Friday. RCB's form tapered off as they lost their last 5 matches before crashing out of the competition in the UAE.
Not easy to start innings after powerplay in UAE: Katich
"Look, from the batting perspective, we did have consistent opening partnerships between Finch and Padikkal even though Finch not getting the volume of runs that he would have hoped for, we actually did get solid opening partnerships. That's an area of concern we wanted to address. We got that, as a by product of that, Virat came into bat after the powerplay which is never an easy time to start your innings, particularly in the UAE, particularly late in the tournament with the pitches getting slower. That was a challenge for him," Katich told the press on Saturday.
"We saw the class of Virat in the game against Chennai. But a number of times, the game situation did not help where he looked like he was well on top of the bowling but we would lose wickets at the crucial time and that would sort of slow his progress.
"You can judge him purely by the numbers. There were a number of games where he looked right at ease but unfortunately we got stalled at times."