"They just really spurred him on" - Dinesh Karthik opens up on Virat Kohli's strike rate chatter in IPL 2024

Virat Kohli was the Orange Cap winner of IPL 2024
Virat Kohli was the Orange Cap winner of IPL 2024

Dinesh Karthik recently spoke about how Virat Kohli was all fired up after some experts commented about his strike rate during the recently concluded season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2024).

Addressing Kohli's stellar performances in IPL 2024, the veteran keeper-batter suggested that the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) thrives on criticism and loves to prove people wrong.

During a discussion on Cricbuzz, here's what Karthik said about Kohli having an incredible run with the bat:

"I can write a book on how he was this year. He started okay but thanks to people like Simon (Doull) and a few others, they just really spurred him on. And you don't want to see that side of Virat Kohli. I think he thrives on that. He is someone who inadvertently wants to hold on to certain things to do well.
"He loves proving people wrong, and even though he might not come out and say it, it really fuels his passion and he's like a molten lava coming out. He's fiery and you don't want to be anywhere close to it because you're going to get burnt for sure because he's done this time and time again."

Karthik reserved high praise for Kohli and mentioned that the seasoned campaigner's intensity was unmatched throughout the season. Highlighting how the former RCB captain deserves a lot of credit for the team's success, he said:

"You can speak about RCB, the success, and all of that; it is not happening without that man. I'm not saying this with his batting. It's the intimidating feeling that he gives when he's on the field, the way he pushes fielders, if you ever had a mic in one of those timeouts, my god!
"There will be a lot of bleeps for a start and Ben Stokes will be mentioned a bit, but if you look past all that, the intensity that he carries and he expects each player to do well. I doff my hat to him. To be doing that in the 17th year of IPL, stand up and applaud the man. RCB and its fans should be grateful to have a guy like that."

Virat Kohli was in stunning form in IPL 2024. He finished as the Orange Cap winner of the season, chalking up 741 runs across 15 innings at a strike rate of 154.69.

"It's never personal. We've had great conversations" - Simon Doull on questioning Virat Kohli's T20 strike rate

Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull has previously criticized Virat Kohli for his strike rate in the T20 format. During the discussion on Cricbuzz, he spoke about how the veteran batter should not be worrying about losing his wicket, considering his calibre.

Doull clarified that he doesn't have anything against Kohli, suggesting that the two have had multiple conversations. He remarked:

"He's too good to worry about what if he gets out. He's too good a player, and that was always my point around him. I said a thousand great things about Virat Kohli, but I say one thing that might be slightly negative or construed to be negative, I get death threats. It's never personal. We've had great conversations. I've interviewed him at tosses, we've talked after games, there's never been an issue."

Opining that with the kind of achievements that Kohli has, he needs some sort of criticism at times for motivation, the cricketer-turned-commentator elaborated:

"When I look at the game and the way the game's moved, particularly with the impact sub, it had moved, and a strike rate of 134 or 135 didn't cut it anymore. What he did this year, I loved the way he was more aggressive. He took the bowling on. He played the slog sweep, which we didn't see him play much. And he's never not going to have the fire and be one of the fittest blokes in the game, because that's what drives him.
"Sometimes he needs some motivation. I thought about it afterwards and I thought you know maybe he does thrive on it because what else has he got to thrive on? After 17 years of giving the game everything he's given, he's got to look for something to spur him on now and then."

RCB qualified for the IPL 2024 playoffs courtesy of their six-match winning streak towards the back end of the season. However, their campaign ended with a heartbreaking four-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Eliminator.

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