'I get death threats': Simon Doull reveals ugly side of criticising Virat Kohli, 'What he did this year...' | Crickit
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'I get death threats': Simon Doull reveals ugly side of criticising Virat Kohli, 'What he did this year...'

May 30, 2024 01:49 AM IST

Simon Doull said that he admires Virat Kohli for turning around and proving pundits like him wrong.

Virat Kohli showed a different side to himself in the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL), ending the season with a strike rate of 154.70, the highest he has ever maintained in an IPL season. Kohli's strike rate had been the centre of a bit of a storm at the start of the season and the former India captain himself admitted in later interviews that he made a conscious effort to keep his strike rate up throughout innings.

He said that his point always has been that Kohli shouldn't have to worry about getting out
He said that his point always has been that Kohli shouldn't have to worry about getting out

Among those criticising Kohli for his strike rate was former New Zealand fast bowler and commentator Simon Doull. The 54-year-old has reversed his opinion since the early part of the season, even stating that Kohli was the best batter of the season in his books. Doull also revealed the flipside of criticising a player like Kohli, with the kind of following the latter has in India.

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“I see a phenomenal player, a player who should be dominating more than what he was. That's what I talk about (when I mention) his strike rate. I felt that he was afraid to get out because he was worried about what is behind him rather than (saying), 'I'm so good'. It is the same thing I said about Babar and I had a chat with him after I talked about it in Pakistan and he said that his coaches told him the same thing. What I loved about (Kohli) this year was the intent to hit sixes,” said Doull on Cricbuzz.

He said that his point always has been that Kohli shouldn't have to worry about getting out and that it was probably a rare bad thing he said about the former RCB captain. “He is too good to worry about getting out and that was always my point. I have said a thousand great things about Virat Kohli but I say one thing negative or construed to be negative, and I get death threats. That's the shame of it,” said Doull.

Doull also said that he has had good conversations with Kohli whenever the occasion came around. “There has never been an issue and I would never have a reason to have personal problems. When I look at the game and the way it has moved, particularly with the impact sub, a strike rate of 130-135 didn't cut it any more,” he said.

‘Good on him trying to prove people like me wrong’

Kohli won the Orange Cap after scoring 741 runs at a strike rate of 154.70 and average of 61.75 with five centuries and one century. He hit 38 sixes, which is the joint with 2016 for the most he has hit in a single season. His next highest is 23 and his tally of sixes this season is more than what he managed in the last three seasons put together.

What he did this year, I loved it. He took the bowling on. He played the slog sweep which we didn't see much. He is never not going to have the fire. I thought about it afterwards that, maybe he does thrive on it. What else has he got to thrive on, after 17 years of giving the game everything he has given he needs something to spur him on. And if I can do that from an Indian cricket point of view, that is good. I love coming to this country and working here, if I can spur him on in some way then good on him turning around and trying to prove people like me wrong. Because that is just an opinion, I get paid for mine.

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