Updated March 15th, 2024 at 15:55 IST

'Without Virat Kohli, there is no team': Mohammad Irfan shuts down talks of Kohli snub in T20 WC

In discussing the indispensable role of Virat Kohli in the Indian lineup and whether he should be playing T20 World Cup, Mohammad Irfan made his feelings clear.

Virat Kohli during Asia Cup 2023 | Image:AP
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Cricket enthusiasts worldwide are on the edge of their seats as the Legends Cricket Trophy unfolds, showcasing exhilarating competitions among cricketing giants. In the midst of this fervour, legendary Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Irfan has emerged as a standout player, orchestrating a remarkable rise from the Colombo Lions to the forefront of the tournament. His stellar performance, propelling the Lions from tenth place to first in just two matches, has cemented his status as a linchpin in the team's success.

Reflecting on his standout performance against the Kandy Samp Army, Irfan remarked, "Facing the Samp Army was a challenging test, but I was determined to make an impact for my team."

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With an impeccable display of bowling prowess, Irfan emerged as the most crucial bowler for the Lions, clinching three crucial wickets while conceding only 33 runs. His disciplined approach and ability to maintain pressure on the opposition proved pivotal in restricting the Samp Army to 141 runs for the loss of six wickets, ultimately leading the Lions to victory.

Looking ahead to the highly anticipated India vs Pakistan T20 showdown on American soil, Irfan shared insights into the significance of this historic clash. "An India vs Pakistan match is always a world game," he emphasized, underscoring the global spectacle that accompanies this age-old rivalry.

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In discussing the indispensable role of Virat Kohli in the Indian lineup and whether he should be playing for T20 series, Irfan asserted, "Without Virat Kohli, there is no team. He is the biggest batsman out there."

Highlighting Kohli's match-winning prowess, Irfan recalled previous World Cup matches where Kohli's leadership led India to victory single-handedly, emphasizing his crucial role in the team's success "Even in the previous World Cup 50-over matches, Virat himself led his team to victory single-handedly. If you put Virat aside from matches like against Australia or New Zealand at Dharamshala, it would have been a lost opportunity." remarks Irfan.

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Turning attention to key players from Pakistan, Irfan identified Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam as pivotal figures. "If Rizwan and Babar perform consistently, then the lower-order players can carry it off," he explained, showcasing confidence in the depth of talent within the Pakistani squad.

Expressing confidence in Pakistan's bowling prowess, Irfan stated, "Pakistan’s game relies heavily on bowling. If players like Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah perform well, victory is within reach." Reflecting on past World Cup challenges for Pakistan, Irfan observed the impact of injuries on performance, noting the crucial role of bowlers in clinching tournament victories.

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In conclusion, Irfan shared his excitement for the upcoming India vs Pakistan match, exclaiming, "I can’t wait to enjoy this match from the VIP box. All plans are made, and I am definitely excited to be a spectator for this." With the stage set for an unforgettable clash between cricketing giants, the Legends Cricket Trophy and the impending T20 World Cup promise to captivate audiences worldwide, uniting fans in their shared passion for the sport.

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Published March 15th, 2024 at 15:37 IST