Tuesday, June 18, 2024

“Virat Kohli Is Not The Same T20 Player He Was”: As T20 World Cup Looms, Ex-India Star’s Massive Remark


Former Indian cricket team batter Sanjay Manjrekar believes that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will not repeat their mistakes from the T20 World Cup 2022 semifinal match against England where they were defeated by 10 wickets. In his column for Hindustan Times, Manjrekar said that India could only manage to score 168 runs against England due to the slow batting by the top-order batters. However, he added that both Virat and Rohit have evolved as T20 batters and they will not make the same mistakes in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024. India start their campaign against Ireland on June 5.

“In the last T20 World Cup two years ago, in the semis against England in Adelaide, India batted first and got only 168 runs in 20 overs, and a shocking 62 in the first 10. The bulk of deliveries in this crucial period were faced by the seniors, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Rohit got 27 off 28 balls at a strike rate of 96, while Virat secured 50 off 40 balls at a strike rate of 125, eventually getting out in the 18th over,” Sanjay Manjrekar wrote in his column.

“India had lost the tournament right there. Thanks to Hardik Pandya‘s 63 off 33 balls, at a strike rate of 190, India had something to show on the board. England, unsurprisingly, chased the target in 16 overs with 10 wickets in hand,” Manjrekar recounted from the T20 World Cup 2022.

Rohit impressed everyone with his aggressive brand of batting in Cricket World Cup 2023 while Kohli emerged in the highest run-scorer in the recently-concluded IPL 2024.

“Having said this, we can be sure of one thing. Rohit and Virat will not commit the same mistakes made in that semis. It’s worth acknowledging that Virat is not the same T20 player he was two years ago. He must know deep down, surely, that the ‘outside noise’ has actually made him a better T20 batter today than he was two years ago,” Manjrekar wrote in his column.

“Is there still a lingering risk attached to Virat – that when it comes to the big stage, the knockout games, he is preoccupied with batting longer rather than batting quicker? For Indian cricket’s sake, let’s hope this preoccupation is buried deep,” the former batter concluded.

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