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Friday, May 27, 2022

RCB vs PBKS: ‘What else do you want me to do?’ Virat Kohli cries out at the cricketing gods

Emotional Rollercoaster: Virat Kohli though was livid, he cussed skywards, perhaps cursing the cricketing gods who seem to conspire against one of the greatest batsmen of his time, or perhaps he was cursing his own judgement when he played that shot.

Written by Sandip G |
Updated: May 14, 2022 7:15:58 am
RCB vs PBKS, IPL 2022RCB vs PBKS: Virat Kohli played a 20 off 14 balls knock. (screengrabs)

Emotional Rollercoaster: The woes of Virat Kohli goes on. In the steep, playoff-enhancing chase, Kohli looked the part, glimpses of the famed, fabled, chase-master flickering. But a familiar nemesis snuffed the glowing embers of hope, as he was hurried into a slightly awkward ball to pull. The umpire judged Kohli was not out, that he had not nicked the ball onto his hips, whereupon it lobbed in the air and into the palms of Rahul Chahar at short fine-leg. But Punjab reviewed, somewhat confidently, even as he was wincing in pain, uncharacteristically for a man of his defiance. As it turned out, the snicko showed a clear spike, off the lower part of his gloves.

Kohli though was livid, he cussed skywards, perhaps cursing the cricketing gods who seem to conspire against one of the greatest batsmen of his time, or perhaps he was cursing his own judgement when he played that shot. At one point, he looked up and seems to mouth, “what else do you want me to do? F*** me!” Perhaps it was all those feelings, a mix of regret, dejection, bafflement, as he kept whining something unto himself as he dragged himself into the dugout. If emotions are a window into the soul of as expressive a cricketer as Kohli, he surely is a devastated man. A singer who has lost his voice in desperate search of a redemption song.

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Hasaranga – the middle-overs menace

Wanindu Hasaranga entered the tournament with doubts about his calibre and the Rs 10-crore price-tag. As the group stage hurtles to closure, he has not endeared to the audience with his celebrations and a laid-back demeanour, but he has emerged as a middle-over wrecker. No bowler in this edition had snared more wickets than him between the seventh and 15th over.

Like most successful leg-spinners in this format, he primarily purchases his wickets with his wrong-ones, which are propelled from different angles and release points (you have to watch his knee-flex to realise how differently he bends for different deliveries), and at different speeds. Control and precision are pivotal to success, as is the courage to bounce back after getting hit. But a recent tweak in his technique has played a part in his success. His run-up, according to bowling coach Sridharan Sriram, was erratic. “His run up has been very up and down. He used to run fast, sometimes slow and there was a mixed up pattern,” he says in an episode of the RCB bold. Batsmen used to pick these little clues and second-guess his variations. But with a tweaked run-up, he has been far less predictable and far more successful.

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