Out of shape? Virat Kohli fans slam critics as Indian batter continues to dominate ODIs

Virat Kohli, India’s former captain, fired a comfortable 51 in the ODI opener against South Africa, where the visitors lost by 31 points on Wednesday. Chasing 297, fly-half Shikhar Dhawan (79) and Kohli formed a healthy partnership that took India from 46/1 to 138/1 before Dhawan departed. Later, Kohli also missed Tabraiz Shamsi and was caught. The game turned when Rishabh Pant got confused by Phehlukwayo and Ngidi Venkatesh Iyer took a deep hit. With Ravichandran Ashwin playing his first ODI since 2017 and also losing his stumps to Phehlukwayo, India’s hopes of a miracle were quickly dashed. India was down until 199/7, losing 7 wickets for 76. Shardul Thakur got half a century towards the end but it was in vain.

While the middle class has been criticized for not taking on the long chase, it was Kohli, who missed the 71st century and no longer stayed at the 22 yards, that became the talk of the town on social media.

However, fans amassed stats and numbers to remind critics that despite Kohli facing a centuries-long drought and not being at his best, Kohli had plenty of runs in his conversation about previous outings and the “out of shape” argument was unfair to him .

Did Kohli set the bar too high for himself? many wondered.

Former skippers Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen completed hundreds of runs en route to their 204-point stand to lead South Africa 296-4 in Wednesday’s first ODI against India. After a slow start, van der Dussen (129 of 96) and Bavuma (110 of 143) shared the second-highest partnership ever against India in the ODI to secure a competitive total for the home side.

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