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De Villiers slams pundits for criticising Kohli

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New Delhi, May 2: Former South Africa great AB de Villiers has slammed the “data-driven” cricket pundits for criticising Virat Kohli for his strike rate outside powerplay in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Kohli has been in top form this season for Royal Challengers Bengaluru, scoring 500 runs at a strike rate of 147 and an average of 77. He is second in the top-scorers’ list.
Despite that, the former India captain has often been criticised for his inability to take charge against the spinners, especially in the middle overs, something which Kohli’s former RCB teammate de Villiers disagrees.
De Villiers termed Kohli as one of the best players to have played the game, saying it was not wise for data-driven pundits to comment on the stalwart.
“Virat Kohli catching criticism about his strike rate it’s been going on for too long and I am sort of fed up with that now. I am frustrated to say the least. This guy is one of the best players to have ever played the game of cricket. He is incredible in the IPL, he plays a certain role for RCB,” the South African said on his YouTube channel.“I have pretty much enough of data-driven pundits who keep criticising this man (Kohli) when you don’t have the knowledge of the game. How many games you played? How many IPL hundreds you scored? “All the people who talk about strike rates and not playing spin well are the ones talking about this stuff. For me, it’s about winning the games for the team and there is a reason why you have done it for 15 years, you have done this day in and day out, you have won games for your teams.” De Villiers feel Kohli has nothing to prove to anyone, and should just concentrate on his game.
“I am quite sure that if you haven’t been been in that situation yourself, to sit and talk about the game, it’s not quite the same thing. For me, people can talk about their assumptions day in and day out but those who have done day in and day out, they know what’s happening and it’s a kind of muscle memory for me now.
“His strike rate, by the way, this season is even better than the record-breaking season he had not so long ago (2016 season). So, I don’t know where the criticism is coming from. He is batting like a dream at the moment,” he said. (PTI)

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