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‘Keep getting 2016 flashbacks. Now, RCB have reinforcements…’: Virat Kohli sent point-blank ‘boss the game’ message

Virat Kohli will make a return to cricketing action on Friday as RCB take on the Chennai Super Kings in the opening match of IPL 2024.

RCB’s star batter Virat Kohli is set to make his much-awaited return to action in the opener of the 2024 Indian Premier League against Chennai Super Kings. Kohli last played during the T20I series against Afghanistan in January earlier this year; he had withdrawn from the subsequent five-match Test series against England due to personal reasons.

Virat Kohli during RCB’s training session ahead of their opening match against CSK(PTI)

Over the past few weeks, there has been significant speculation over Kohli’s place in the shortest format. The Telegraph reported earlier this month that the India great’s chances of making it to the final 15 in the squad for the T20 World Cup are in jeopardy and that his performances in the upcoming IPL season will be decisive.

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An Indian team without Virat Kohli in it is hard to imagine; after all, the 35-year-old has produced some magnificent performances for the side in T20Is. Let’s not forget the previous T20 World Cup, where Kohli played an innings of a lifetime against arch-rivals Pakistan in the side’s opening game of the campaign.

Kohli has, however, remained away from the squad ever since the marquee global tournament, making his comeback only in the Afghanistan series earlier this year. And according to former Australia cricketer Tom Moody, Kohli needs to “take the game on” and channel an aggressive approach in IPL 2024, not only because of the reports over his T20I future but also due to the fact that RCB have made certain batting reinforcements this year.   

“I’d like to see him firstly take the game on, and boss the game. Because he has got the game. He’s got more than a game. He’s one of the greats,” Moody told ESPNCricinfo. 

“When he does that, he looks unstoppable. I just keep getting flashbacks of the season in 2016 when he had a bumper year. He scored well over 900 runs; you just couldn’t bowl to him. No one was looking at the strike rate then because he was controlling the game.

“Now that the Impact Sub has been implied, and with the reinforcements RCB have got in their batting, I want to see Virat go out there bossing the game. He can do it, you are not asking someone to do something they are not capable of. He can do that and can tear this tournament apart,” the cricketer-turned-coach stated.

Kohli had a strike rate touching almost 140 (139.82) in the previous edition of the IPL, and was the fourth-highest run-getter.


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