Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

During the first half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, legendry Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar questioned star batsman Virat Kohli’s strike rate and his approach in the T20 format.

There were also speculations that Kohli might not be picked for the Indian T20 World Cup team owing to his poor strike rate in the format. The modern-era great has long been criticised for his intent in T20s, especially against spinners and in the middle overs.

However, Kohli let his bat do the talking with some brilliant knocks and an improved approach against spinners, which included the use of slog sweep.

In response, former South Africa great and Kohli’s former RCB teammate AB de Villiers said that he enjoyed Kohli making a statement. The former 360 degree batter lashed out at the likes of Gavaskar and fellow critics for questioning the ability of a ‘hero and role model of the country’.

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“I thought it was... really bad for someone like that for a hero and a role model of the country to get so much criticism around that. But the way I know him, I just knew and that’s exactly what I mentioned on my show. I said, guys, you have no idea what happens to this guy when he catches criticism. The many years I’ve played against him, I used to tell the players in the team room, you do not say one word to Virat on the pitch because he will come out and he will score a big 100 if you try and chirp him,” said De Villiers during an interaction.

“Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, getting a bit of criticism, because stuff like that motivates him so much,” he added.

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