Kane Williamson (left) and Virat Kohli. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Former Indian Test opener Aakash Chopra has expressed disappointment over the below-par batting performances of star batters Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson in IPL 2022 so far. Kohli and Kane are often compared to fire and ice for their respective fiery and cool attributes. According to Chopra, though, the duo’s skills have just not been evident enough this season.
Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Kohli has scored only 119 runs in seven IPL 2022 matches at an average of 19.83 and a strike rate of 123.96. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper Williamson, meanwhile, has 127 runs to his name after six games at an average of 21.17 and a strike rate of 94.78.
RCB and SRH will meet in the 36th match of IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. Previewing the contest, Chopra said about the Kohli-Williamson tussle:
“Kohli vs Kane is supposed to be fire vs ice. But the fire is not burning while the ice is too cold. What is happening here?”
Looking at other key performers, Chopra added that RCB skipper Faf du Plessis’ return to form is great news for the franchise, but added that Anuj Rawat needs to start performing. He stated:
“Faf du Plessis was absolutely stellar in the last game. But Anuj Rawat has scored in only one match and Kohli in only two. But Shahbaz (Ahmed) and (Dinesh) Karthik have been pushing the team forward. Karthik is in great form.”
Describing the Bangalore bowling outfit as a very strong one, he elaborated:
“(Josh) Hazlewood has been outstanding. Harshal Patel is finding form and (Mohammed) Siraj rediscovering his rhythm is a beautiful thing. Then they have got Shahbaz, (Wanindu) Hasaranga and Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) as well.”
Hazlewood starred with four for 25 as Bangalore defeated the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 18 runs in their previous IPL 2022 match.
“Kane will have to score runs” – Aakash Chopra feels SRH’s batting lacks depth
Even though the Sunrisers are on a four-match winning streak in IPL 2022, Chopra believes that their batting could get exposed against RCB if they lose early wickets. He explained:
“Abhishek Sharma has not been consistent at the top. Batting is not consistent. Kane will have to score runs. Rahul Tripathi has been brilliant while Aiden Markram has been lifting them to wins. There is Nicholas Pooran as well, but no one after that. If their batting is challenged, they’ll get exposed.”
Hyderabad defeated the Punjab Kings (PBKS) by seven wickets in their previous IPL 2022 match. Chasing 152, they got home with ease as Markram contributed 41* and Pooran 35*. They are currently fifth in the standings with eight points from six games. RCB, meanwhile, are third with 10 points from seven matches.