Impact Player rule has disrupted the balance of game: Virat Kohli

IPL 2024: Kohli said the rule swayed the game in favour of the batters and urged the BCCI to think it through with the 10 franchises before the next edition.

Published : May 18, 2024 14:40 IST , MUMBAI - 2 MINS READ

Virat Kohli during an IPL 2024 match against Punjab Kings.
Virat Kohli during an IPL 2024 match against Punjab Kings. | Photo Credit: R.V. MOORTHY / The Hindu

Virat Kohli during an IPL 2024 match against Punjab Kings. | Photo Credit: R.V. MOORTHY / The Hindu

Echoing India skipper Rohit Sharma’s sentiments, star batter Virat Kohli has criticised the Impact Player substitution rule and said it is “disrupting the balance” of the game.

The mid-innings substitution rule, adopted in the previous edition of the IPL, has sparked a row with Rohit expressing his displeasure in a podcast last month.

Now, Kohli has urged for a rethink of the rule. “I agree with Rohit. Entertainment is one aspect of the game but there is no balance,” Kohli said on Jio Cinema.

“I think it has disrupted the balance and a lot of people are feeling this way, not just me,” he said.

Rohit had said, “I’m not a big fan... It’s going to hold back all-rounders. Cricket is played by 11, not 12 (players).”

The Impact Player rule has led to an increase in team totals during the ongoing edition of the IPL. Punjab Kings set the record for the highest successful chase in T20 history when they overhauled Kolkata Knight Riders’ 262 with eight balls to spare.

Sunrisers Hyderabad also smashed the record for the highest-ever total in franchise cricket by posting 287/3 against Royal Challengers Bengaluru. This edition has witnessed eight 250-plus totals and Kohli felt the bowlers’ pain.

“Bowlers are feeling like what they should do,” Kohli said. “I have never experienced anything like it where bowlers think they will concede four or a six on every ball.

“Not every team has a Bumrah or the mystery of Rashid Khan,” he said.

“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. 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,” Kohli added.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah has said that the Impact Player rule is a “test case”, implemented to give two Indian players opportunity in a game.

He has also indicated that they would talk to the stakeholders for using it in future editions of the IPL.

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

“As a batsman, I can say this rule is good but the match should be exciting. Only fours and sixes are not exciting in cricket. Exciting is that you can defend 160 as well,” Kohli said.

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