The independent voice of cricket

IPL 2023

‘Concerned about a milestone’ – Simon Doull criticises Virat Kohli for pre-half century slowdown

Simon Doull criticised Virat Kohli for slowing down close to his fifty | IPL 2023
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Commentator Simon Doull has criticised Virat Kohli‘s deceleration upon nearing his fifty in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s IPL game against Lucknow Super Giants, suggesting that the former India skipper was “concerned about a milestone” rather than scoring quickly.

Openers Kohli and Faf du Plessis laid out a whirlwind start for Royal Challengers Bangalore in their second home game of the season, racing to 56-0 in the powerplay. The fielding restrictions eased up after the duo took 14 runs off Mark Wood – the joint highest-wicket taker in the season so far. Kohli looked in ominous touch, smashing 42 off the first 25 balls he faced.

The introduction of spin from both ends slowed down things considerably. Skipper KL Rahul went with a combination of Krunal Pandya and Ravi Bishnoi, then brought in Amit Mishra. Kohli managed 19 off his  next 19 deliveries, and was eventually dismissed for 61 off 44, holing out to deep mid-wicket. From the end of the powerplay until the 14th over finished, RCB scored just 48 runs.


On commentary, Doull suggested that Kohli slowed down as he was “concerned about a milestone”.

“Kohli started off like a train, he was going hammer and tongs, playing a lot of shots,” Doull said on commentary. “From 42 to 50 he took 10 balls.”

“Concerned about a milestone. I don’t think there’s room for that in this game anymore. You’ve just got to keep going especially with wickets in hand at that stage. You’ve got to keep going.”

Kohli’s overall IPL strike rate against spin is much lower compared to his stats against pace (123.96 vs 132.51). Since the start of 2020, the numbers have slipped further (106.68 against spin).

Recently, Doull had commented similarly on Babar Azam’s scoring rate in the PSL, suggesting that Babar had slowed down on his approach to his maiden PSL ton. Doull had questioned whether Babar was only looking for his century “rather than putting the team first”.

RCB are currently seventh on the points table, with one win and one loss thus far.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99