Dilip Vengsarkar says Virat Kohli “will be a crucial factor for India’s chances in the WTC final”
By SMCS - Jun 4, 2023 11:00 am
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Former cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar said that Virat Kohli will be crucial for India to win in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at the Kennington Oval, starting June 7. Kohli had a stunning IPL season, scoring 639 runs which came at an average of 53.25 and a strike rate of 139.82. The veteran batter also smashed back-to-back centuries against the SunRisers Hyderabad and the Gujarat Titans as well.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Speaking to Hindustan Times on Kohli’s recent form, Dilip Vengsarkar said: “He is a vastly experienced cricketer so if he has said something about his batting, he is the best judge. We all know what he can do. He is a world-class player and no doubt he will be a crucial factor for India’s chances in the WTC final. It will be a treat to watch if he gets going.”

Despite having a poor show and without a Test century since 2020, Virat Kohli broke the shackle with a stunning 186 in the final Test of the recent Border Gavaskar Trophy in Ahmedabad. Vengaskar also applauded the young sensation Shubman Gill, referring to him as an all-format player as well.

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“Shubman Gill is an outstanding cricketer,” Dilip Vengsarkar said. “We expect a lot from him. He has a very bright future for India. He is a very skilful player. He has got a good temperament and all the other necessary qualities to play for India for a long time and developed into a match-winner. If you look at his batting carefully, the strokes he plays are mostly according to the manual,” he added. “They are all cricketing shots even in the T20 format. That is why he is an all-format player.”

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill scored a brilliant century

Notably, Shubman Gill had an awesome IPL season, scoring a whopping 890 runs in 17 matches which came at an average of 59.33 and a strike rate of 157.80 as well. This included three centuries in four games, along with a swashbuckling 129 off 60 balls in Qualifier 2 against the Mumbai Indians as well. He has been in sublime form across formats for India in 2023. He scored a fantastic maiden century in the final Test of the four-match series at home against Australia as well.

Dilip Vengsarkar also backed Indian captain Rohit Sharma to do well in the occasion in the much-awaited WTC final against Australia. The veteran is coming off another poor IPL season, scoring only 332 runs in 16 games at an average of 20.75 as well. However, Vengsarkar remained optimistic about his scoring in the marquee game. He also backed Ajinkya Rahane to succeed in English conditions as well.

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“Rohit’s role will be very crucial both as a captain and also as an opener. He is a big match player and the occasion can’t get any bigger than this. I hope he brings his A-game to the table. More than the form I think the fact that he will be straightaway coming to the Test match from T20s might be a bit of an issue. I wish they had a few practice games before the WTC final. When you go into a Test match as big as this and remember, there are no second chances, unlike a series, it is important you are prepared well. He (Rahane) has played good knocks in English conditions in the past,” Vengsarkar continued. “His technique is such that he can adapt to the English conditions quickly. ( On the wicket-keeper dilemma) KS Bharat is the specialist wicketkeeper, so I think he should play,” Dilip Vengsarkar concluded.