In an interview with Jio Cinema, Virat Kohli spoke on the recent criticism of the role of anchors in Twenty20 cricket, particularly by Simon Doull.

Earlier in this season’s IPL, Doull had criticised Kohli for his batting approach during Royal Challengers Bangalore’s match against the Lucknow Super Giants.

Kohli raced to 42 off the first 25 balls he faced – the most he has scored inside the powerplay in all Twenty20 cricket till date – but slowed down against the Lucknow Super Giants leg-spinners, Ravi Bishnoi and Amit Mishra.

He made only 19 off his next 19. He struggled against before eventually perishing to Mishra. Kohli finished with a strike rate of 139 in a match where the other four half-centurions struck at over 170.

“Concerned about a milestone – I don’t think there’s room for that in this game anymore,” Doull said on commentary at the time. “You’ve just got to keep going especially with wickets in hand at that stage. You’ve got to keep going.”

While speaking to Robin Uthappa, Kohli defended the role of the ‘anchor’ in Twenty20 cricket: “There are many people who – because they have not been in that situation themselves – look at the game differently. Suddenly, when the powerplay is done, they will be like ‘oh, they have started rotating the strike.’

“I’m not thinking about strike rate. Oh, my strike rate must be 160 plus or anything. I play T20 cricket according to the situation. If situation demands I can play 230 strike rate and I can do this any day. I always play for my team and not for myself.”

Doull had also criticised Babar Azam at this year’s PSL. He has not been the only one. Harsha Bhogle, too, criticised the pace of the early part of Shikhar Dhawan’s 56-ball 86 against the Rajasthan Royals.

“I hope you were happy with my strike-rate as you tweeted something,” quipped Dhawan at the podium after he was named the Player of the Match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Kohli himself made a 34-ball 50 today (April 15), against Delhi Capitals.

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