“Greatness of Virat Kohli Has Been Reduced”: Harbhajan Singh’s Huge IPL 2024 Warning

For the unrelenting run-machine that Virat Kohli has been in the IPL, the MA Chidambaram Stadium here remains a peak that the Royal Challengers Bangalore batter is yet to scale. Kohli stands miles away from the rest in IPL, scoring 7263 runs from 237 matches with seven hundreds and striking at 130. But that supremacy dips at the Chepauk, where he averages just 30 and has a strike-rate of 111. In that context, former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said it was imperative for Kohli to produce a better effort when RCB face defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural match of this year’s IPL at the Chepauk on March 22. “The greatness of Virat has been reduced in terms of his overall performance at that venue. It is a tricky venue to bat, especially as an opening batsman against a sort of weird tennis ball type bounce.

“They’ve (CSK) got the great (Ravindra) Jadeja bowling stump to stump. He’ll get the oddball to turn and then the oddball to stay low. It’s really tricky,” Harbhajan told Star Sports.

In fact, Kohli has gotten out in the Power Plays three times in his last five innings against CSK, and Harbhajan said the star batter will have to find a way to bat longer.

“If he’s actually prepared to bat about 20 overs, then he can put together a match-winning performance because two hundreds at the accessible Chinnaswamy do not necessarily guarantee the same at Chepauk,” he said.

Kohli has not been able to score an IPL century at Chepauk so far, and has a middling record against the Super Kings. The 35-year-old has made 985 runs against CSK from 30 matches with a highest of 90.

Harbhajan, himself a former CSK player, said Kohli needed to recapture his 2016 form for RCB to have a real crack at the elusive IPL title.

“It’s important for him to have a season like 2016, because if Virat goes on to score runs, the team will go forward. I don’t know if they will go on to win the cup or not.

“But with the brilliant individuals they have in their team—Virat, (Glenn) Maxwell, (Cameron) Green, and a few more like Patidar— I believe they have a lot of good batting. and everyone wants Virat to have a repeat of 2016,” he added.

During that year, Kohli made 973 runs from 16 matches with four hundreds and seven fifties, still the highest run-aggregate in an IPL season.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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