Kohli's Chepauk Challenge: CSK Must Dismiss Him Early, Say Experts

Kohli’s Chepauk Challenge: CSK Must Dismiss Him Early, Say Experts

Virat Kohli’s return to action in the Indian Premier League (IPL) opener against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has sparked anticipation and analysis. Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden believes that Kohli’s ability to bat long on the tricky Chepauk pitch could pose a significant threat to CSK.

Hayden highlighted Kohli’s average of 30 and strike rate of 111 at the Chepauk Stadium, suggesting that the venue has historically presented challenges for the Indian batsman. However, he emphasized that Kohli’s danger lies in his ability to adapt and become more dangerous as he spends more time at the crease.

“It’s really tricky, so they’re going to need Virat Kohli out early inside the powerplay,” Hayden said. “They’ve done so thrice over the last 5 innings, and they’ll need to do so for the 4th time.”

Hayden also noted that Kohli’s recent form has been exceptional, with the batsman scoring 765 runs in the ODI World Cup last November. Former India batter Mohammed Kaif echoed Hayden’s sentiments, praising Kohli’s hunger and desire to score runs.

“We already know he’s a great player, but every innings, he wants to play a match-winning innings, make the team win whether it’s for India or RCB,” Kaif said. “This hunger has been self-made and now that he’s come back from a break, he’ll be fresh for the IPL.”

Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh believes that the onus will be on RCB’s batters to win games, given the team’s perceived bowling weaknesses. He suggested that RCB should aim for scores of 230 or more to give their bowlers a cushion.

“The best thing you can do this season, if they are batting first, doesn’t matter, look to get 230, 240… they must target at least 220 or 230, because a 20-run margin can probably win them more number of games,” Harbhajan said.