You cannot always rely on Virat Kohli, Varun Aaron tells his former team RCB

PTI, Apr 21, 2024, 12:53 PM IST

It’s high time India’s domestic players step up for Royal Challengers Bengaluru this IPL season and reduce the dependence on Virat Kohli, former India pacer Varun Aaron said on Sunday.

Kohli has been the standout performer for RCB this IPL season and is the current Orange Cap holder with 361 runs in 7 innings. His strike rate is 147.34, with the highest score being 113 not out.

Speaking to Star Sports, Aaron said, ”It’s just that RCB are not finding the rhythm, the domestic players are just not stepping up.” The 34-year-old Aaron, who announced his retirement from first-class cricket earlier this year, added, ”If you have to be anywhere at the top of the table or the middle of the table at this point of the table, you have to have domestic players who are firing and you cannot always rely on Virat Kohli. ”The other guys have to step up and also all their money, is sitting in the dug-out. You can’t spend that much cash on players and not have them play.” In 2014, Aaron was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 2 crore, and was retained by the franchise ahead of the 2016 auction.

Australia’s former skipper in the limited overs formats, Aaron Finch feels RCB needs an explosive middle-order batter who can complement Kohli.

”He’s (Kohli) scored a lot of runs everywhere. He’s a modern day great. And I think the fact that he’s getting runs and RCB are still not making it is a positive sign in one degree. ”It’s that when Virat is playing well, that genuinely carries the rest of the players with him. ”They just need to find a partnership with him, they need to find an explosive middle order player who is in form, Lomror has been in and out, so it’s got all the makings of an epic game,” Finch said.

RCB are playing Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on Sunday.

Speaking of Travis Head’s blazing 89-run knock for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Delhi Capitals in Delhi on Saturday, Finch said the left-handed opener has taken the ”fear of failure out of his mind’.

”It’s always been in him, the ability to play like this. I guess the freedom to express himself and be able to deal with the ups and downs of playing such an aggressive and high-risk brand of cricket, I think has just released him to a new level. ”And I think if you look back at the World Cup final, he kept playing his shots even when there was wickets falling around him, the ball was moving. Because he’s taken the fear of failure out of his mind. ”If he misses out five or six times in a row, it doesn’t bother him because he knows he’s one shot away. He’s the type of player that needs one ball in the middle. And that’s all it will take for him to get going again,” Finch said. In a match that saw over 460 runs being scored, seamer T Natrajan finished with excellent figures of 4/19, and Finch believed the bowler getting all his wickets in the death when the game was as good as over, prevented him from getting the Man-of-the-Match Award.

”When 460 runs are scored in a game and a guy gets 4 for 19, that’s a special performance. I think the thing that didn’t give him the man of the match is the 4 wickets were right at the death when the game was done and dusted.” Set an imposing target of 267, DC were stopped at 199.

”I think the ability of Delhi to get that run rate under 12 an over was extraordinary and at that stage of the innings, they were in the box seat to win it. ”The wicket slowed up a bit just like Pat Cummins talked about it and the ball got a little softer and made it easier for the slower bowlers to grip. It was just one of those things where they couldn’t sustain it,” Finch said.

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