T20 World Cup 2022: "Virat Kohli is not going to win you every match" - Madan Lal wants other Indian batters to step up

Virat Kohli played one of the greatest T20I innings. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Virat Kohli played one of the greatest T20I innings against Pakistan last Sunday (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former Indian cricketer Madan Lal has warned the Men in Blue that Virat Kohli cannot steer them out of trouble in every game. Madan Lal lavished praise on Kohli's innings against Pakistan, but urged the Indian openers to raise their game.

Kohli, who scored an unbeaten 82 against Pakistan in Melbourne in India's first match of the tournament, rescued a wobbly India out of trouble.

Chasing 160, the Men in Blue were struggling at 31-4 before Virat Kohli's partnership of 113 with Hardik Pandya brought them back into the game. India hit the winning runs on the last ball and emerged victorious by four wickets.

Speaking to PTI, Madan Lal said that Virat Kohli played the knock of a lifetime and observed that Australia's pitches suit his gameplay. However, the 71-year-old put Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul on notice, highlighting that winning the tournament is a team effort.

"Virat Kohli’s innings was amazing. I have never seen an innings like that but Virat Kohli is not going to win you every match. It’s such a big tournament. It can’t be won by one person. Australian pitches are suited to Kohli’s game. He runs the ones, twos, and threes and uses the big grounds to his advantage. In between, he scores the boundaries. He has become mentally tougher.
"Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have to pull up their socks. Everybody needs to ensure that they are performing and trying their best all the time. And in every game, there will be different heroes. India’s task is yet to be completed. The journey has just begun. Even teams like the Netherlands are not weak teams. In T20, it’s anybody’s game."

Rahul and Rohit scored four runs each against Pakistan, losing their wickets to Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, respectively. Suryakumar Yadav, their most in-form batter, also perished for 15 as he failed to handle a brute of a delivery from Rauf.

"Pant should always play" - Madan Lal

Rishabh Pant. (Image Credits: Getty)
Rishabh Pant. (Image Credits: Getty)

Madan Lal also strongly advocated keeper-batter Rishabh Pant's inclusion, stating that he could win matches out of nowhere. The 1983 World Cup-winning former player also underlined that India must tinker with the Xi according to the conditions and opposition.

"Pant should always play. He is a match-winner. Even if he plays five games, he is going to win you two games. So that is good enough. You should give him a chance to play five-six matches and you will see the difference. India must choose their playing XI according to the opponents they play. They should play their pacers and spinners accordingly. The same set of playing XI may not work."

India face a modest opponent in The Netherlands on Thursday. However, they must bring their A-game against South Africa when they play them at Perth on Sunday.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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