Reetinder Singh Sodhi has expressed hope that the Indian batsmen, veterans Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli can rise above their somewhat indifferent records in tournament deciders and play match-defining knocks in the much anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final.
India will face New Zealand in the WTC final, starting at the Aeges Bowl in Southampton on Friday, June 18 onwards. The Indian team will be relying on the duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to make a telling contribution in the title decider.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi: One Out Of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, And Cheteshwar Pujara Will Have To Play A Big Knock
During a discussion on India News, Reetinder Singh Sodhi acknowledged that the duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have not come up with stellar performances in tournament finals in the recent past.
“I totally agree with you because stats say a lot. The New Zealand bowlers or their team will also be discussing that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have not done much in such matches, so there they can go on the attack,” Reetinder Singh Sodhi said.
The former India all-rounder however pointed out that the onus will be on the trio of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Cheteshwar Pujara to play substantial knocks in the WTC final as a lot will be expected from them.
“But this is a pressure match and here one out of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara will have to play a big knock because they know the conditions and have the experience and can be match-winners on their day,” Reetinder Singh Sodhi added.
He added that opener Shubman Gill and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane can play the supporting role if one of the three aforementioned batsmen delivers the goods for the team.
“After that, Shubman Gill and Rahane can play the cushion role but at the end of the day, one out of your top-class three batsmen will have to fire because this is a pressure-cooker match and whichever team takes a session easy can fall behind,” Reetinder Singh Sodhi said.
With Team India going into the WTC final with five frontline bowlers, all the six specialist batsmen, including Rishabh Pant, will have to take the additional responsibility to ensure that they post a fighting score on the board.
Rohit Sharma’s Indifferent Record In Final May Motivate Him To Do Well In WTC Final: Virat Kohli’s Coach
Virat Kohli’s coach Rajkumar Sharma observed that his ward and Rohit Sharma’s slightly indifferent record in tournament finals should act as a motivating factor for the duo.
“I would like to feel that this will motivate both of them further, that they have not performed well in these matches and this is the right time for them to deliver. Both are mature players, they will definitely convert if they get a start and I have full expectation that both are motivated,” Sharma said.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be particularly perturbed by their collective failures in the 2017 Champions Trophy final and the 2019 World Cup semi-final. They will hope to put all those demons to rest by making match-winning contributions in the WTC final.
Rohit Sharma hit a purple patch in the World Cup 2019 scoring 648 runs in 9 games at an average of 81.00 with five hundred and a half-century. During the tournament, he became the first batsman in World Cup history to score five centuries in a single edition.
In the 2017 Champions Trophy, Virat Kohli had scored 96 in the semi-final against Bangladesh. It was part of a 178-run partnership with Rohit Sharma as India made light work of the 264-run target set by Bangladesh. But, both times the outstanding batsmen failed in the deciding final or semi-final as India lost both the tournaments.