Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir felt that star India batter Virat Kohli slowed down ja bit towards the backend of the Indian innings against South Africa at the Eden Gardens in the 2023 World Cup match. Gambhir said that both Kohli and Shreyas Iyer played the situation quite well in the middle overs when the ball got softer and the spinners got grip from the surface as well. However, Gambhir added Kohli could have gone a touch harder right towards the end of their innings as well.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda in a discussion alongside fellow former Indian cricketer S Sreesanth, said: “It was important for Kohli to bat deep and I feel it was just the last 5-6 overs where he slowed down a bit, maybe because he was nearing a century. But I believe there were already enough runs on the board. It could have hurt India if they were batting on a good pitch.”
Gambhir further added: “You got to give credit to Shreyas Iyer for the way he kept taking chances and took the pressure off Virat Kohli. Both batted really well in the middle as the best time to bat was with the new ball. They expertly negotiated Keshav Maharaj and giving him just one wicket when Jadeja picked five was brilliant.”
Meanwhile, Sreesanth also felt it was important for Rohit Sharma to get off to a flying start against South Africa as it was tough to bat as the game progressed. Sharma, however, scored 40 off just 24 balls and Sreesanth lauded him for going all guns blazing as well. However, India will play their final league game of the World Cup 2023 against The Netherlands in Bengaluru on Sunday, November 12 as well.
“I have been saying this ever since the Asia Cup when Shaheen Afridi dismissed Rohit Sharma with a ball that nipped back. Since then, whenever someone has tried that ball, Rohit has attacked them in the powerplay. He has been leading from the front taking the aggressive route and has not held back from expressing himself which is something even Dhoni Bhai used to say,” he again shared.