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Updated January 16th, 2024 at 14:27 IST

'Knowledge of lion being there scares you. Virat Kohli is that lion': Ex-KKR star ends T20 WC debate

Ex-IND cricketer has made a huge statement about the possible role for star batter Virat Kohli in the T20 World Cup for India after his return this week vs AFG.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli | Image:@KKRiders/BCCI

 In a thrilling T20 match, India emerged victorious against Afghanistan with an impressive performance. Batting first, Afghanistan posted 172 runs in 20 overs, led by Gulbadin Naib's resilient knock of 57 runs. However, India showcased their batting prowess, chasing down the target in just 15.4 overs with 6 wickets in hand. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube shone with their explosive batting, scoring 68 and an unbeaten 63 runs respectively. Axar Patel's remarkable bowling performance earned him the well-deserved Player of the Match award, securing India's lead of 2-0 in the T20 series.  

3 things you need to know

  • India leads the series by 2-0
  • India have already secured the 3-match T20I series
  • India won both of their T20Is so far against AFG by 6 wickets

Also Read: Romario Shepherd takes one-handed blinder in SA20 game

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Aakash Chopra made a huge statement about Virat Kohli

Aakash Chopra is an advocate of Virat Kohli staying at the wicket for a long time in the 2024 T20 World Cup. In the most recent encounter of the current series against Afghanistan, Kohli returned to the Indian T20I team, his first appearance in the shorter format of international cricket since the 2022 T20 World Cup. Kohli demonstrated his skill in this match by hitting 29 runs off of 16 balls, enough for a striking average of 181.25, complete with five boundaries.

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In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra symbolically equated Kohli's presence at the wicket to that of a lion in a forest. Chopra emphasised the significance of Kohli's batting steadiness and the authoritative presence he provides to the squad. The allusion to a lion highlights Kohli's status as a dominant force and highlights how crucial it will be for India to win the forthcoming T20 World Cup if he stays in the crease for an extended period. Aakash Chopra said:

"Kohli has all types of gears. He can play fast or slow. He can play at a run-a-ball as well. Kohli is at his best when he stays for a long time. You feel scared going into a jungle because a lion is there."

"It's not mandatory that the lion will eat you whenever you enter a jungle but the knowledge of the lion being there scares you. Virat Kohli is that lion. You (opposing teams) are always scared when Virat Kohli is at the crease."

Also Read: Shreyas Iyer confirms that India team management told him to play Ranji

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Chopra does not expect the T20 World Cup to have high-scoring matches

Chopra highlighted Virat Kohli's career strike rate of about 138, saying that at this rate, Kohli does not necessarily try to smash every ball for a boundary. Instead, he can generate magic whenever the circumstance calls for it. In his commentary, Chopra emphasized Kohli's strategic approach, demonstrating a combination of studied shot selection and the ability to increase the game's speed when necessary.

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In the context of the T20 World Cup, Chopra gave a contrasting viewpoint, implying that he did not expect the competition to be high-scoring. Expounding on this point, he stated that the game's dynamics may shift towards a more balanced and strategic style of play, in which Kohli's controlled yet effective batting might be crucial for India. He added:

“The lion needs to be there on the pitch, especially on those pitches where totals will be between 160 and 180. 220 won't be scored there. So you expect Virat Kohli to stand there and accelerate later.”

Virat Kohli will be seen in action against Afghanistan in the 3rd T20I match on Wednesday at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

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Published January 16th, 2024 at 12:24 IST

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