Virat Kohli Supports Rohit Sharma’s Critique of the Impact Player Rule in IPL

Virat Kohli

India batter Virat Kohli has agreed with India captain Rohit Sharma’s take on the Impact Player rule in the Indian Premier League 2024. Speaking on Jio Cinema, Kohli has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India to rethink the new rule, which for him – has completely destroyed the balance of the game.

Kohli has said that every bowler is not Jasprit Bumrah or Rashid Khan, who are incredibly skilled at their craft and are sort of less susceptible to getting hit for boundaries.

Introduced in IPL 2024, the Impact Player rule permits teams to replace a player during the game. This substitution can occur at any point, affecting the balance between bat and ball. While the rule aims to enhance entertainment, it has raised concerns about fairness and strategy.

Virat Kohli’s views on the Impact Player rule

“I agree with Rohit. Entertainment is one aspect of the game but there is no balance,” Kohli said.

Last month, India skipper Rohit Sharma, while speaking to Michael Vaughan and Adam Gilchrist’s YouTube show Club Prairie Fire mentioned that he is “not a big fan” of the IPL’s Impact Player rule as he feels it is hurting the country’s all-rounders by not allowing cricketers like Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube to showcase their bowling prowess.

Kohli highlighted how the Impact Player rule has disrupted the equilibrium. With an extra batter in the lineup, he himself has been able to play aggressively from the start, achieving a strike rate of over 200 in powerplays.

“I have never experienced anything like it where bowlers think they will concede four or a six on every ball. We are playing a high level of cricket and it should not be that dominant in my opinion. There is a beauty about having an equal balance between bat and ball,” he added.

Kohli says the extra batter has helped him score freely in the powerplay and also explains why every team is struggling to defend even a big total.

“Not every team has a Bumrah (Jasprit) or the mystery of Rashid Khan. I am telling you, with one extra batter there is a reason I am playing with 200 plus strike rate in the powerplays. I know there is a batsman waiting at No. 8 as well. I think it has disrupted the balance and a lot of people are feeling this way not just me,” he said.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah has said that the Impact Player rule is not permanent and a call on its use in subsequent editions of the IPL will be taken after a discussion with stakeholders after the 2024 T20 World Cup.

“I am sure Jay bhai has mentioned already that they will review it and I am sure that they will come to a conclusion which brings the game into balance,” said Virat Kohli.

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