Irfan Pathan backs Virat Kohli to fire in rest of 2024 T20 World Cup
By SMCS - Jun 20, 2024 8:00 am
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Former Indian pace bowler Irfan Pathan has backed star batter Virat Kohli to bounce back in form in the remainder of the 2024 T20 World Cup. The veteran struggled in the group stage with a dismal 5 runs at an average of 1.66 in three games. Despite Kohli’s poor form, Team India won all three completed matches and qualified for the Super 8.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Pathan said on Star Sports: “He knows how to stand up in big matches, isn’t it? That’s what makes him really, really special. He’s a special player and I’m sure he’s going to put his hand up and say OK, I’m going to do this for Team India and when the time comes, especially the big matches, we always have seen from Virat Kohli that he performs. Just wait and watch, the slog sweep will come out now. He will definitely use those shots because, look, those conditions in New York. But now things will be different and you’ll see a real Virat Kohli coming to the fore.”

However, Kohli began the 2024 T20 World Cup with a 5-ball 1 against Ireland, then 4 from 3 against arch-rivals Pakistan. And, got out on a
golden duck in India’s next outing against the USA. Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Ambati Rayudu felt the Indian team must try not to be overly aggressive against Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan as well.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli failed to do much

“I think the biggest challenge against Rashid Khan is to try and be too aggressive against him. That is where you land in trouble and as a batter you need to just wait for those loose balls and he gives you that one or two balls that you really need to capitalise. And also after his injury I don’t think his pace is the same.”So you have enough time now and people have been getting after Rashid and also the Indian batsman know him very well,” said Rayudu.

However, in a video on his YouTube channel, AB de Villiers also opined on Kohli’s form and why he felt Virat Kohli had to bat at No. 3.

He said: “I have always said please bat Virat at No. 3. Especially in better wickets that they will play now, Virat is the go-to guy at No. 3. He can play the attacking game and also pull back and absorb the pressure if necessary. He is the best player in the world in the middle overs. I don’t see any reasons (for opening). Just make sure you throw the first punch. In the past World Cups, I think they have been a bit conservative, sort of feeling their way into a game. They are such a quality team that I feel they can take a bit of a risk early in the game to get the momentum because there is no looking back once they get the momentum.”