“Cricket is played on ground, not on Excel sheets”- Controversial article by Harsha Bhogle’s brother receives massive backlash after downplaying Virat Kohli’s T20I stats 

The article tried proving through stats that hitting boundaries from ball one is more important.


“Cricket is played on ground, not on Excel sheets”- Controversial article by Harsha Bhogle’s brother receives massive backlash after downplaying Virat Kohli’s T20I stats 

Virat Kohli 's iconic 82* against Pakistan was downplayed by Harsha Bhogle's brother. (Images via ESPN and IMDB)

Virat Kohli is one of the best T20 batters the world has ever seen. He has the most runs in the IPL, T20 World Cup and in T20Is in general. Many praised his ability to anchor an innings, a role which is a tough role to pull off, but there are always people who downplay his ability. Now a person has done it with stats.  

Harsha Bhogle’s brother, Srinivas Bhogle, recently released an article in which he claimed despite Kohli being a great ODI batter, he was an average T20 batter. The reasoning he used was that Kohli used to take time to settle, and would hurt the team. Instead Srinivas preferred batters who could attack from the very first ball. His students formed two new constructs, Latency and Acceleration. What are those two constructs? 

  • Latency: the average number of runs scored by a batter in every 3-ball interval that he faces
  • Acceleration: the average number of boundaries scored by a batter in every 3-ball interval that he faces (Four runs=1, Six runs=1.5)

Bhogle claimed that a successful T20 batter would have a lower acceleration rate, which shows that the batter isn’t afraid from attacking. 

We often forget that 11 batters have to share just 120 balls in T20 cricket. A batter who scores 24 runs in 10 balls, and then gets out, provides far more value than the star batter who remains unbeaten to score a 50 in 44 balls, and stays in contention for a bright-coloured cap.
Srinivas Bhogle wrote in his article

He then took the example of Virat Kohli’s iconic 82* against Pakistan. He claimed that till the powerplay, his innings was mediocre and was worrisome till the half point of his innings. Despite Kohli winning the game, he called his innings “perilous”. 

Fans call out Harsha Bhogle and his brother, ask them to watch games 

While Srinivas Bhogle does believe in his statistical model, what he fails to take in consideration of conditions and match situations. Virat Kohli’s 82* against Pakistan was a tough one as India were 31/4 just after the powerplay. He and Hardik Pandya had to rebuild the innings from scratch, having only one established batter left. The pitch on which the match was played was slow, which made it much tougher to bat. Despite the conditions, match situation and opposition, Kohli managed to get India a famous victory

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli hits one of the most iconic shots in T20I cricket history (Image via ESPN)

So when Harsha Bhogle shared his brother’s article, he called it a “A very simple, lucid explanation of how to measure effectiveness of white ball batting”. It received immense backlash, as the article viewed the matches through numbers and not by actually taking in other factors. They also called out the commentator for downplaying Kohli’s achievements in T20I cricket. 

Check out their reactions: 

Virat Kohli has come under fire for a long time over his T20 strike rate, but he has proven that patience is a virtue. Now he has returned to the T20I squad to face Afghanistan. The series begins on 11th January, and has three matches. 

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