Virat Kohli T20 World Cup 2024.
Virat Kohli T20 World Cup 2024. Image Credit: X

The former India wicket-keeper batter Deep Dasgupta feels that Virat Kohli could aim to offer India an aggressive start with quick-fire 20-25 runs, going into the ‘super eight’ stage of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. The former India captain is going through a bad patch of form in the group stage of the competition, with only five runs in three innings.

India are coming into the second round of the tournament on the back of their unbeaten run against Ireland, Pakistan, and the United States of America at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York before their game against Canada was washed out due to wet outfield in Florida.

India’s main concern coming into the Super Eight stage has been their best batter Virat Kohli, who hasn’t started the tournament as he aimed to. What didn’t work in his favor too was the tough track, which wasn’t helping the batters too.

Deep Dasgupta wants Virat Kohli to bat freely in the opening position

The former India player observes that if India could get off to a flying start in the powerplay, then they could design their innings after that, and for that to happen, the responsibility will be on Virat Kohli, who will look to give India those quick 20-25 runs in the first six overs.

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In the very first game of the competition for India, Kohli used his feet to the pacer and got an outside edge which flew towards the third-man region, where the fielder grabbed it easily to send the batter back to the hut on an individual score of one.

Against Pakistan, Virat Kohli drilled Naseem Shah through covers for a four, and it felt like he would come up with another masterclass knock, but in the very next ball, he found the extra-cover fielder, after playing the slow ball outside of his body.

In the last game against the USA, the Delhi batter got an outside edge, as he played the left-arm pacer Saurabh Netravalkar away from his body.

Deep Dasgupta, in a discussion with Star Sports, has put Rohit Sharma’s example to see Kohli coming up with quickfire 20-25 runs in the Super Eight stage of the tournament.

‘We are talking about runs, which is important, but if you are opening and especially in this format, impact is important.’ The 47-year-old addressed on Star Sports. ‘You might score 30 runs but if those 30 runs come in 20 balls, that is more important than you scoring 50 runs off 45 balls. So, impact is very important.’

He also felt that the pitches of the Caribbean could demand such knocks and if Virat Kohli can gift India some 20-25 runs in quick succession, then the momentum will be on their side.

‘These are matches and pitches where you will have to play such knocks. If you take Rohit’s example, he might not have scored big runs in the last one to one-and-a-half years, but he gives momentum in every innings. 20-25 runs in 15 balls is not a bad innings.’ Deep Dasgupta expressed. ‘If he scores a fifty or a hundred, that is very good, but even if he contributes with a 15-ball 25, he has done a job.’

When it comes to run-scoring, the RCB opener is still the highest run-getter of the tournament with 1146 runs in 28 innings, at a strike rate of 130.52.

The veteran also informed that Virat Kohli’s struggle hasn’t been a huge concern for him going into the tournament.

‘I seriously believe form is irrelevant in T20s. If you don’t score runs in two matches, you don’t become a bad player, you are not out of form, you are out of runs, which Virat Kohli is. Considering Virat’s pedigree and all, I am not at all worried.’ The renowned commentator remarked.

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India have been playing on tough surfaces, and suddenly coming on a good batting track, the pressure will be on their batters to deliver better performances.

‘He (Virat Kohli) got out in the last match off the first ball and before that, watching the four or five balls he played, it didn’t seem like he is out of form.’ Dasgupta concluded. ‘It didn’t seem like his bat was going in a different line and the ball was somewhere else, and someone like Virat, he will figure it out, there are no two views about that. So, I am not at all concerned.’

India will face Afghanistan in their first Super Eight fixture on June 20, at the Kensington Oval, in Bridgetown, Barbados.