Why India Need Virat Kohli In 2024 T20 World Cup? Ex-India Star Explains

File image of Virat Kohli© AFP

Virat Kohli is undoubtedly one of the greatest batters in the world across all three formats. Known for his blistering knocks, the 34-year-old batter is en-route to breaking Sachin Tendulkar‘s historic record of 100 international centuries. While he is breathing fire in the ODIs and Tests, Kohli has not featured in a single T20I match since India’s debacle in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2022. Kohli, along with skipper Rohit Sharma has been missing out on the T20Is with all-rounder Hardik Pandya, donning the captain’s hat.

However, the recent loss against West Indies in the five-match T20I series has raised a lot of questions on the management and team selection. As the team is trying new combinations for the T20 World Cup 2024, the question also arises on the availability of Virat and Rohit for the marquee event.

Former India batting coach backed Kohli and stated that the Royal Challengers Bangalore star should definitely be a part of the Indian team in T20 World Cup 2024.

“100 percent. Just look at what he did in the previous World Cup. Those close matches – there were some edge-of-the-seat encounters where emotions run high and you know that this is a big-stage game where the eyes of the national are glued on you. One small mistake can make a difference. That’s where you need players who have gone through those situations. At that point, it doesn’t really matter what your strike-rate is or how you’ve done in the IPL. No, in a big game, you require big match players and he showed it,” Bangar said on Cricket Basu YouTube channel.

The former RCB head coach further gave a reference of Virat’s IPL 2023 century against Gujarat Titans, where he smashed 101 runs off just 61 balls, laced with 13 fours and only one six.

“Recall the India vs Pakistan game. Even for that matter, the quarterfinal between India and Australia in the 2016 T20 World Cup. He has been doing it consistently. Everyone has their own style of making runs, and it’s not mandatory to have six-hitters to win matches. Had it been the case, West Indies would have won all T20 World Cups. Kohli is a player who can smash a 100 without even hitting a six. If you don’t have players who can soak in pressure, then you are asking for trouble,” he said.

Currently, Team India is all set to square off against Ireland in the three-match T20I series, under the captaincy of their star pacer Jasprit Bumrah. The series will kick-start on Friday in Dublin.

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