Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell, two of the leading Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen, have been part of run outs on two occasions this season. On both the occasions it was Kohli’s call, but on both the occasions he later felt that he had made the wrong call. It was too late though. These two run outs have once again started a debate on the issue of stealing fast singles in T20 cricket.
On Wednesday, Kohli played the ball softly to the off-side and ran for a run. Maxwell did not want to take the first run but seeing Kohli coming fast, he also had to run. However by then it was too late. Uthappa’s throw comes and Maxwell has to go to the pavilion. Earlier on April 16, in the match against Delhi Capitals too, Kohli wanted to take runs by pushing the ball lightly at cover point.
At that time Maxwell refused him and Kohli was in the pavilion on a straight throw from Lalit Yadav.
Royal Challengers Bangalore posted a video on their website after the match against Chennai Super Kings, in which Maxwell is seen saying to Kohli, “I can’t bat with you, you run too fast. You get another two.” Want to get runs, but I’m not a big fan of this strategy.”
Ian Bishop and Daniel Vettori agree with Maxwell
Although he did not say these things seriously to Kohli, but Ian Bishop and Daniel Vettori seemed to agree somewhere in ESPNcricinfo’s show T20 Time Out. He termed Kohli’s move to steal a single as a bad decision. According to Bishop, “Kohli made a mistake, there was no run at all. Even though both Kohli and Maxwell are quick runs, you can’t go in the wrong places to steal runs. To take or not to take runs is our game and decision.” Shows potential and if you take the wrong decision, it will definitely take a toll on you and your team.”
Vettori also seemed to agree with Bishop’s point of view. Even going a step further, he said, “It is not a good decision to steal a single by lightly pushing the ball towards cover. If there is a run out in an innings, we should evaluate that run out and ask the player concerned. Needless to say, he took the wrong decision to steal the runs. You can’t lose Maxwell or a big guy like him for a single.”
According to the ball-by-ball statistics, Kohli has been part of run outs on 40 occasions in T20 matches. While 15 times he himself has been dismissed, while 25 times he has run out his partner. However, there is also a difference in the style of scoring runs between Kohli and Maxwell. While Maxwell scores 62.04% of his runs from boundaries, Kohli gets only 54.3% of his runs from boundaries. This also means that Kohli relies heavily on singles and doubles for his runs.
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Vettori added, “The players in the subcontinent have the habit of stealing such hard singles at the start of the innings but the players in front are not necessarily prepared for it. Something similar happened with Maxwell.”