Virat Kohli’s batting form in this Indian Premier League season took a welcome turn for the better after a hard-fought half-century against the Gujarat Titans in Sunday.
The former Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper scored 58 off 53 balls, hitting six boundaries and one six during his knock to help his team set a total of 170 for 6. Though the Titans managed to chase down the target to win by six wickets, with three balls to spare, Kohli’s knock could provide RCB ‘s batting group with a confidence booster as the team moves to the second half of the group stage.
“Today was a huge step in the right direction. Cricket is a massive game of confidence and for Virat that will be huge. Just to get a huge solid 50, hitting the ball in the middle, the confidence is going to be big for him and for us,” said captain Faf du Plessis after the match.
Kohli’s form has been a major worry for the team, fans and pundits alike, with former India coach Ravi Shastri recommending the 33-year-old take a break from the sport in order to recharge and prolong his international career.
In the first nine games for the RCB this season, Kohli scored 128 runs, failing to reach double figures in five matches - which included two ducks.
In the 10th game though, Kohli played a confident knock to score his first 50 of the season. And for du Plessis, the change in form has come at an opportune moment.
“Something that is important for us going forward is the confidence in your top order. You want one of your top 4 to bat through and score the 70-plus score, because those are the kind of impacts that make a difference, 30s and 40s don’t really change a game.
“It’s great for him to get a score today.”