Former India head coach Ravi Shastri said Virat Kohli should play his natural game and look to be busy against high-quality spinners R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal when Royal Challengers Bangalore face table-toppers Rajasthan Royals in a much-anticipated IPL 2022 contest in Mumbai.

Ravi Shastri said he liked the way Virat Kohli batted against left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar in RCB’s opening match against Punjab Kings. Kohli hit 41 not out from just 29 balls, looking proactive against the spinners. He used his feet well and hit 2 sixes. However, Kohli got out for just 12 in their second match of the season against Kolkata Knight Riders.

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RR will look to use their spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and R Ashwin to tie down Virat Kohli, who has been struggling to keep the scoreboard moving against spinners in the IPL. Since 2022, Kohli has scored 381 runs against spinners in the IPL but his strike rate of just 107.32 is a cause for concern.

“I think he should just play his game. I think he played very well in the first game, I liked the way he played. He used his feet, looked busy and was prepared to rock back well,” Shastri told ESPNCricinfo.

“What you want from Virat is to look busy. If you can’t hit the big ones, make sure you are rotating the strike and making the bowlers think. He will play his natural game.

“It’s a good contest. These 2 are very good spinners,” he added.


Shastri also urged Kohli to play the conventional sweep against spinners to make sure that they don’t settle into a rhythm against him while pointing out that the former skipper has to work on developing that aspect of his game.

“He has to use the paddle sweep against these two. That’s a part of the game he has to work on.

“Opposition teams know that when he comes to bat, he doesn’t sweep (against the spinners). When you know that, the field placements can be done precisely. Once you start sweeping, I don’t care who the spinner is, you’re making him play,” Shastri added.

The battle between Kohli and Chahal will be interesting as the leg-spinner had been an integral part of RCB squad under the former’s captaincy over the years.

The India spinner will be looking to prove a point against his former franchise after having begun the season on a superb note. Chahal picked up 3/22 in RR’s win over SunRisers Hyderabad and finished with 2/26 against Mumbai Indians last week


India today