Home Cricket News IPL 2024- “RCB Need Other Batters To Stand Up”: Steve Smith Supports Virat Kohli Under Pressure

IPL 2024- “RCB Need Other Batters To Stand Up”: Steve Smith Supports Virat Kohli Under Pressure

IPL 2024- “RCB Need Other Batters To Stand Up”: Steve Smith Supports Virat Kohli Under Pressure

Former Australia captain Steve Smith believes that Virat Kohli is facing significant pressure in the ongoing IPL due to the collective struggles of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s batsmen. Smith emphasizes the importance of Kohli’s teammates stepping up to support him.

Kohli has been the standout performer for RCB this season, scoring 203 runs in four matches at an average of 67.66 with two half-centuries. However, the next highest scorer, Dinesh Karthik, trails far behind with 90 runs in as many games.

Despite Kohli’s consistent performances, RCB has faced difficulties, suffering three losses in four matches and currently occupying the eighth position on the points table. Players like Glenn Maxwell, skipper Faf du Plessis, and Cameron Green have been disappointing with the bat so far.

“He needs the other key batters to stand up with him, and if they do that, they can turn things around for their season. But, at the moment, they’re not so a lot of pressure is on Virat,” Smith told PTI in an exclusive interaction at the channel’s studio here.

“I doubt he’d be putting extra pressure on himself. (But) some of the other top-order and middle-order (batters) need to help Virat,” he said.

Virat Kohli has carried RCB with 203 runs in four IPL games

Smith cautioned that Kohli cannot be expected to score runs in every match, emphasizing the need for RCB’s batsmen to improve their performance collectively.

“He started the campaign really well in the IPL and he needs some support. He’s not going to score runs on every occasion,” he said.

“But, I doubt he’d be thinking that way. I don’t think he’d go out and put extra pressure on himself. He’d just go out and play and see what happens in that game.”

Smith rejected criticism of Kohli’s strike-rate, highlighting Kohli’s exceptional ability to read situations, noting his strike rate of over 140 in this year’s IPL.

“Virat is an incredible player. What he does really well, and probably better than most people in the world, is (that) a he sums up the conditions and the situation of the game and plays accordingly,” he said.

“If he needs to strike big, he does. If he needs to bring it back a little bit and build some partnerships…You don’t need 180 on every ground; 150-160 might be enough on some grounds,” he added.

“Virat sums up the conditions really well and the situation. I’m not fussed about the strike rate,” Smith continued.

Smith also addressed another controversial aspect of the IPL, focusing on Hardik Pandya’s captaincy of the Mumbai Indians and the negative response from fans. He acknowledges the reasons behind Pandya facing criticism in all three matches but urges fans to move on from the past.

“Yes and no. Obviously, there was that (booing) going on in the first two games. It sort of becomes a bit of a thing, if that makes sense. But, it was unfortunate, I think. I’d love to see them supporting Hardik. Obviously, there’s a lot of huge Rohit fans out there,” he said.

“A lot of people are a bit annoyed that he’s not the captain of the side. But, everyone needs to let go of that and support Hardik. He’s a wonderful player. He had a lot of success at Gujarat (Titans). He’s back (as) captain of the side at Mumbai now.

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