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HomeNews'Can't form a team without Kohli': Ex-Pak cricketer slams critics

‘Can’t form a team without Kohli’: Ex-Pak cricketer slams critics

NEW DELHI: Former Pakistan fast bowler

Mohammad Irfan

has come to the defense of

Indian cricket

icon

Virat Kohli

amidst speculation over his place in the upcoming

T20 World Cup

squad.
Reports have emerged suggesting that selectors are deliberating Kohli’s inclusion in the T20I setup, raising doubts about the prolific batsman’s role in the tournament.

Kohli recently marked his return to India’s T20 squad after a hiatus of 14 months, featuring in the Afghanistan series earlier this year. He had voluntarily opted out of the shortest format following the conclusion of the 2022 T20 World Cup but made a comeback during the Afghanistan series, featuring in the last two matches.

In an interview with News24, Irfan, who has faced Kohli on the field in the past, showered praise on the Indian batting stalwart. He emphasized Kohli’s indispensability in the T20 World Cup team, citing his remarkable ability to single-handedly sway match outcomes in India’s favor.

“I have no doubts about it; you cannot form a team without Virat Kohli because he is a colossal batsman. We all witnessed his performances in the

ODI World Cup last year. Virat Kohli won 3-4 matches for India in the World Cup all by himself. If Kohli hadn’t stepped up on those occasions, India would have lost 3-4 matches, including group-stage encounters against Australia and New Zealand, where India lost early wickets. He finished those matches single-handedly,” expressed Irfan during the interview.
Despite Kohli’s stellar displays in the 2023 ODI World Cup, questions have emerged about his place in the T20I squad as India look to adopt a more aggressive brand of cricket, diverging from Kohli’s typical anchor role.
Dismissing Kohli’s critics, Irfan vehemently defended the Indian batting maestro, asserting that those questioning his place in the T20 World Cup team lack credibility.

“He has won matches recently, and it’s unjust to cast doubt on his place. Those who doubt Virat Kohli’s inclusion in the T20 World Cup belong in gully cricket,” Irfan added.
Furthermore, Irfan underscored the significance of strike rate in the T20 format, emphasizing its pivotal role in alleviating pressure on the team.
“In T20 cricket, strike rate is paramount. If you consume too many deliveries, it increases pressure on your team. Scoring 30 runs off 10 balls reduces pressure on the subsequent batsmen, whereas scoring at a run-a-ball rate makes it challenging for the others,” he concluded.

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