Virat Kohli IPL 2024.
Virat Kohli IPL 2024. Image Credit: X

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The strike rate debate issue between Virat Kohli and Sunil Gavaskar still continues as former players are giving their views on the incident. The cricket fraternity has divided into two parts in support of both the players on this topic.

Virat Kohli has smashed 661 runs in this ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, to be the leading run-getter of the tournament with an average of 66.10 and a strike rate of 155.16, with five half-centuries and one hundred.

The beginning of the strike rate argument between Virat Kohli and Sunil Gavaskar

At the end of Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 70-run knock after 44 balls, he commented ‘to sit and speak about the game from the box’ fired up a few former players.

The legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who is also a part of the commentary team replied with ‘We don’t have agendas’. It all started from that point. Virat Kohli feels that he always focuses on his hard work, and puts everything in doing the job rather than putting his ears on the outside noise.

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‘It’s kind of a muscle memory now.’ Virat Kohli expressed to the broadcasters after their win against the Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium, in Ahmedabad.

Sunil Gavaskar who became the first player to celebrate 10000 Test runs, didn’t take a back step at Virat Kohli’s words as he showed his aggressive side in a post-match show.

‘All these guys talk about, ‘Oh, we don’t care about outside noise’. Then why are you replying to any outside noise or whatever it is? We all played a bit of cricket, not a lot of cricket.’ Gavaskar replied in a discussion. ‘We don’t have agendas. We speak about what we see. We don’t necessarily have any likes and dislikes. Even if we have likes and dislikes, we actually speak on what is happening.’

‘Players often forget the function as role models’- Balwinder Singh Sandhu

Balwinder Singh Sandhu, the former right-arm pacer who has featured in eight Tests and 22 ODIs for India from 1982-194, backed his former team-mate Sunil Gavaskar for putting the right words.

‘If a senior cricketer in the commentary box makes factually correct comments, the player being criticized should take it as constructive feedback and strive to improve their skills, ensuring performances answer the criticism.’ Sandhu wrote in his ‘The Midday’ column. ‘Instead, players often overreact to protect their reputation and fan base, regardless of whether the comments are personal, issue-based or factually correct.’

The 1983 World Cup winning team’s members went in favor of the ‘first Test captain’.

‘Nowadays, most TV commentators are retired players, ranging from good to legendary. If their criticism is valid, it should be taken constructively, not defensively. Reacting emotionally to criticism, whether personal or not, only exacerbates the situation.’ The 67-year-old wrote in his column. ‘Players should use their performance on the field as the ultimate response. It’s crucial to avoid getting caught up in one’s narrative, as Gavaskar pointed out.’

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Sandhu, who has picked up 26 wickets across formats for India, feels that current players often forget about respecting the past players, and don’t remember how to function as role models.

‘In the past, players would respond positively to a legend. If he was mistaken, a respectful dialogue would follow.’ The former player expressed. ‘However, today’s players seem more preoccupied with social media and financial gains, often forgetting they function as role models for future generations.’

Royal Challengers Bengaluru, who are in the fifth position with six wins in 13 games, will lock horns with the Chennai Super Kings on May 18, at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.