Former India opener Aakash Chopra said he loved what he saw of Virat Kohli in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) opener against Punjab Kings on Sunday 27 March .
Virat Kohli hit a 29-ball 41 not out as RCB scored 205, only to end up losing the opener of the IPL 2022 campaign to PBKS, who shot down the total in just 19 overs. Kohl looked lively and took on the weirdos that have plagued him in the IPL for the past few seasons.
Kohli hit 2 sixes and a boundary as he was happy to play second fiddle to captain Faf du Plessis, who hit a stunning 57-ball 88. Kohli kept the scoreboard moving as he felt comfortable against PBKS spinners, including Harpreet Brar, who had gotten him into trouble in the past.
Remarkably, it was the first time in almost a decade that Kohli had played without the responsibility of captaining the RCB and Aakash Chopra said the former skipper wanted to be more aggressive from the start.
IPL 2022: full coverage
“He looked good. It was like that old vintage Virat Kohli. He started with a bang and he can do that whenever he wants. He took on Brar. The last time he had problems, he became fired. He beat him six. He pushed the limits and then took a back seat,” Chopra told Star Sports.
“Not that he didn’t hit fast enough. It was just that he realized he had to play the supporting role of Faf du Plessis. He understood that ‘I may have been the hero in many films, but now I have to play the role of a hero’s brother’.
“He let Faf du Plessis take center stage but he was right to the end, he scored almost 150. He scored a fair goal but wasn’t really keen to hit as quickly as possible,” he added.
BANGAR KOHLI COMBINATION
Meanwhile, Chopra added that Kohli’s reunion with head coach Sanjay Bangar is working in his favor. Notably, Bangar was Team India’s batting coach up until the 2019 World Cup and had also worked with RCB in the past.
“I am happy to see this Virat Kohli because in the last six months we have seen a different kind of Virat Kohli. He was in a mood – to defend everything. There was a process he’s been following all along, and it’s back now. There’s something about Sanjay Bangar and Virat Kohli. There’s a certain chemistry that brings out the best in Kohli,” added Chopra.
Next, RCB meets Kolkata Knight Riders, who won the opener of the 2022 IPL, at DY Patil Stadium on Wednesday.
ALSO READ| Joe Root looking to continue as England Test captain after series loss to WI: I have the support