'Virat Kohli had a start-stop career...': Sunil Gavaskar drops big 'MS Dhoni' remark days after strike-rate row | Crickit
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'Virat Kohli had a start-stop career...': Sunil Gavaskar drops big 'MS Dhoni' remark days after strike-rate row

May 18, 2024 09:07 AM IST

Virat Kohli and Sunil Gavaskar were in a war of words a few days back after the former decided to hit back at his critics over his strike rate in T20 cricket.

Days after attacking Virat Kohli over his response to critics on his strike rate in the T20 format, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar made a fresh statement on the Royal Challengers Bengaluru opener ahead of the all-important match against defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Gavaskar credited MS Dhoni with playing a major role in Kohli's transformation into a modern-era legend.

Sunil Gavaskar made another huge Virat Kohli remark ahead of RCB vs CSK
Sunil Gavaskar made another huge Virat Kohli remark ahead of RCB vs CSK

Speaking when rain stopped play on Friday during Mumbai Indians' final league game against Lucknow Super Giants at the Wankhede Stadium, Gavaskar reckoned that Kohli had a "start-stop" career when he began playing international cricket and it was only because of Dhoni's trust in him that the 35-year-old carved out an illustrious career for himself.

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"When Virat Kohli started his career, it was a stop-start career. The fact that MS Dhoni gave him that little extra momentum is why he is the Kohli we see today, he said on Star Sports.

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Kohli and Gavaskar were in a war of words a few days back after the former RCB batter decided to hit back at his critics over his strike rate in T20 cricket.

Kohli has long been criticised over his sluggish scoring intent in the format, especially in the middle overs and against spinners. However, following his unbeaten knock of 70 runs against Punjab Kings earlier this season, where he smashed 61 runs against spinners at a strike rate of 179, Kohli blasted his critics, saying: "All the people who talk about strike rates and me not playing spin well are the ones who love talking about this stuff. But for me, it's just about winning the game for the team. And there's a reason why you do it for 15 years - because you've done this day in [and] day out; you've won games for your teams.

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"I am not quite sure if you've been in that situation yourself to sit and speak about the game from a box. I don't really think it's the same thing [as playing out there]. So for me, it's just about doing my job. People can talk about their own ideas and assumptions of the game, but those who have done it day in [and] day out know what's happening, and it's kind of a muscle memory for me now."

Gavaskar later lashed out at Kohli over his explosive remarks. He said: “If you have a strike rate of 118, you come and face the first ball, and then you get out in the 14th or 15th over and your strike rate is 118 – if you want applause for that, then that’s a little bit different. We’ve all played a bit of cricket, not a lot of cricket, but we speak about what we see. We don’t necessarily have any likes and dislikes. Even if we have likes or dislikes, we actually speak about what’s happening. So, I would be very disappointed if Star Sports showed this once more because that would be questioning all of us commentators."

If that wasn't enough, RCB on Thursday took a brutal dig at Gavaskar ahead of the match against CSK. In a video shared by the franchise, the 35-year-old met Mr Nags – a character played by TV presenter Danish Sait, who cheekily said: "See Virat, I want to talk about a friend of yours. Not mine but your friend. He said a lot of nice things about you... Sunil."

Kohli was left perplexed for a few seconds before he was left laughing when the presenter mentioned "Chhetri."

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