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Kohli Endorses India’s Fearless Batting Approach

The bat hits the ball in the middle. Poof. It’s a rough slog-sweep from outside in. When the power play starts, both outfielders are on the leg side, deep midwicket and wide long-on. However, neither of them can stop the ball.

In T20 cricket, the slog and its variations are some of the best hits for big hitters. But even when he’s at his most destructive, Virat Kohli isn’t a great slogger. He counts more on reading the ball and timing it. He was ready to hit a spinner hard in the powerplay, though, since it was his first T20I in more than a year.

It wasn’t any spinner. Mujeeb Ur Rahman is good at both sides of the ball and can even make the new ball spin. He is in demand in T20 – and T10 – leagues around the world.

Kohli’s Spin Transformation

Kohli has had trouble with spin bowling in T20 cricket in the past, so he has avoided taking risks when facing this type of bowling. On Sunday, though, he tore up the old design and was very angry. With five fours, he hit 29 off of 16 balls. IndiaSporrt.Club’s logs show that he tried to hit half of those 16 balls over the fence. He hit Mujeeb 18 times off of seven balls, which is a strike rate of 257.14.

Kohli might have eased into a 173-run chase against an Afghanistan attack sans Rashid Khan. But he didn’t. Instead, he batted purposefully and seemed at home in modern T20 cricket. Yes, the flat Indore surface and speedy outfield benefitted Kohli, but the batting difference was apparent. Under six months away, the T20 World Cup in the US and West Indies is being planned.

Kohli even slogged Naveen-ul-Haq wide at long-on. He rushed out of the crease to Fazalhaq Farooqi. He kept flinging his hands, hips, and shoulder at the ball despite occasional misses. He chastised himself for missing. He also chastised himself for failing to replicate Haris Rauf’s 2022 T20 World Cup six in Melbourne. The ball that upset Kohli almost went over the rope for six.

Kohli’s Bold Approach

Again, going so hard was pointless. A top batter eager to adapt made this choice. Kohli cut a boundary to mid-off while pumping another boundary off Naveen. He sat in the dugout and watched Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube work hard. India mocked the chase with Jaiswal hitting two runs a ball and Dube beneath it.

India captain Rohit Sharma too abandons safety-first T20 batting. He might have taken his time to settle down in the second T20I in Mohali after getting run-out for a duck, but he went hard from the start. He backed away and swung for the hills on the first delivery, but Farooqi bowled full to trim the off bail.

India will play just one more T20I, in Bengaluru on Wednesday, before the World Cup in June, but Rohit has already seen enough. He was very pleased with how his batters are refusing to take a backward step.

Executing the Game Plan

“We are very clear with what we wanted to do and achieve as well,” he told the post-match programme. “There is a clear message to the team, and performances like that make you proud. Going out and doing it is different than talking about it.

“I’m glad we’re communicating in our changing room; that’s excellent for us moving forward. Our last two games have covered practically every aspect, including powerplay, back end, and middle overs.”

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Gautam

    January 16, 2024 at 7:30 am

    my all time favourite cricketer.

  2. Sumit1

    January 16, 2024 at 8:39 am

    I ma very interested to know more about him i really like so much

  3. sandeep1

    January 16, 2024 at 8:43 am

    The king of the match

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