The Indian skipper, Virat Kohli has acknowledged that his deputy, Rohit Sharma has going through a form o his life which made him alter his own role in the top-order as India gear up for Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Rohit has smashed a record five centuries in a single World Cup and scored as many as 647 runs from eight innings.
Kohli has hit five fifties but a century hasn’t been in his fortunes, but he is happy to let Rohit Sharma play the more aggressive role, he said, “It’s been a different kind of role that I have had to play in this World Cup. As the captain of the team, I have been open to playing any role that the team wants me to. It’s great that Rohit is playing so consistently which means that coming in the latter half of the innings you have to play a different role.”
Sharma will be entering a semi-final against New Zealand after scoring three successive tons and two 100-plus opening stands with partner KL Rahul. Virat as unbeaten on 34 when India won their final group game against Sri Lanka on Saturday and insists he is happy doing his more low-key job.
India’s matches in England have witnessed packed houses with fans and Virat acknowledged the pressure each game brings, but he was adamant the team is used to performing under such high expectations.
Kohli elaborated, “Look, the Indian team always carry a lot of pressure whenever we play. We are used to that to be quite honest. We are better equipped to react in these situations because we know what these kinds of games and our fan base and the expectations bring. The disappointment is equal on either side. Our aim and our focus are on winning.”
Former Indian skipper, MS Dhoni is rumored to be announcing retirement after the World Cup. Kohli sidestepped questions on a possible send-off for the former skipper as he praised the veteran’s contribution to Indian cricket.
Virat added. “I am certainly not going to write anything down. I am sure everyone if you ask them about him, they have special things to say. Especially those who started their careers under him. When a person has done so much for the team, you have to appreciate and acknowledge what he has done for Indian cricket and how he has handled Indian cricket and taken respect for Indian cricket so high all over the world.”
Kohli was reminded that he had dismissed Kane Williamson in the 2008 U-19 World Cup, to which he said that he can bowl anytime and he can be quite lethal, as long as he don’t slip on the pitch. His take on his own bowling not only brought about a wide grin on his face but the journalists present at the press conference could also be heard laughing.