Virat Kohli will be cautious against Mitchell Starc: Tom Moody ahead of RCB vs KKR

Kohli and Starc will be facing each other in the RCB vs KKR clash. Source (X)

Virat Kohli roared back to form following a stupendous 77 runs off 49 deliveries against Punjab Kings to lay a platform for a four-wicket win for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday. With this win, RCB opened their account in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 and would look to carry forward the momentum in their next game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.

When Kohli walks out to bat against KKR, the batting maestro will face more than a threat from Mitchell Starc, a record-buy in IPL history, especially against the new ball. Looking ahead to the blockbuster contest, former Australian cricketer and World Cup winner, Tom Moody reckoned that Kohli will head into the contest on a “cautious” note given Starc’s ability to swing it back in with the new ball.

“It’s going to be interesting because these two are high profile figures in the IPL. Obviously, Mitchell Starc getting picked in in the IPL for an enormous amount and there’s Virat Kohli, say no more, his record in the IPL is second to none. But there’s one thing. If there is any bowler you want to bowl to Virat Kohli early on is a left arm quick who can swing the ball back in,” Tom Moody said while responding to a RevSportz query during Star Sports’ show Press Room. “So you can guarantee Virat Kohli will get into this contest a bit cautious of Starc’s in-swinging deliveries. But if he can get through the first couple of overs, then look out because we know what he can do when he spends time at the crease.”

Kohli had an average start to the IPL with a sluggish 21 off 20 in the tournament opener against CSK but went hammer and tong against PBKS to bounce back to form following a break from cricket. In contrast, Starc, who was roped in for a blockbuster Rs 24.75 crore by KKR, conceded 53 runs in his four-over quota against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a match that was won by KKR in a last-ball thriller at the Eden Gardens.

The match between RCB and KKR pits two of the biggest stars in world cricket against each other in a battle which promises to be a tightly fought contest.

Former India cricketer Mohammed Kaif said that he is looking forward to the battle between Mohammed Siraj and Andre Russell. The KKR all-rounder was at his dominating best against SRH, hammering an unbeaten 64 off 25 powered by seven sixes and later picking up two wickets with the ball. As for Siraj, he went wicketless in the first game against CSK, conceding 38 runs in his four overs but played a crucial role against PBKS, picking up two wickets while conceding 26 runs.

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“I think the way KKR played, they look very much in control. Yes it went till the last over but the way Russell batted, the way Salt batted. They have the spinners, they have the fast bowlers. Harshit Rana finishing the last over in style. They look quite in control and I am going to keep them in the top four and against RC, I would say Russell versus Siraj during the death overs would be exciting to watch,” Kaif said on Star Sports Press Room. “I think it’s a fantastic place to play. It’s a high scoring venue, batters are going to enjoy the bowling. It’s a short boundary. It’s a delight to bat on that pitch. And out of all the names you took, it will be exciting to see Russell the way he batted during the first game. He has already set the IPL on fire. It is going to be a nightmare for the bowlers because Russell is in form. Last year was not that great for him. He bowled, but batting-wise, it wasn’t that great, but this year during the very first match, the way he batted it’s going to be very beneficial for the KKR team.”

RCB host KKR on March 29, Friday, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium

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