"Virat Kohli is not the same T20 player he was two years ago" - Sanjay Manjrekar expects India's experienced stars to have a better T20 World Cup

Sanjay Manjrekar was impressed to see Virat Kohli adapt to a more aggressive T20 game (P.C.:BCCI)
Sanjay Manjrekar was impressed to see Virat Kohli adapt to a more aggressive T20 game. (P.C.:BCCI)

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes star batter Virat Kohli has taken his T20 game to the next level and to where it should be in terms of modern-day cricket in the shortest format. Kohli had been pretty vocal in hitting back at his critics who commented on his strike rate not being as high as required.

However, while the former Indian captain did claim that he knew what needed to be done, Manjrekar believes the criticism and the 'outside noise' helped the star batter push his limits and realize he had to be more explosive as a batter.

In his column for the Hindustan Times, here's what Sanjay Manjrekar wrote about Virat Kohli and the changes he saw in his T20 batting:

"Rohit and Virat will not commit the same mistakes made in that semis (2022 vs England). It’s worth acknowledging that Virat is not the same T20 player he was two years ago. He must know deep down, surely, that the ‘outside noise’ has actually made him a better T20 batter today than he was two years ago."

Kohli won the Orange Cap with 741 runs in IPL 2024 at a strike rate of 154.70. Manjrekar wants the veteran batter to play fearlessly and not focus on batting for long as he believes it will be crucial for India to get quick runs.

Sanjay Manjrekar on India's bowling attack

Sanjay Manjrekar opined that it made little sense to him to have two left-arm spinning all-rounders in Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja in India's T20 World Cup squad. He felt that Varun Chakravarthy would have been a better option as it would have given the Men in Blue more variety in their spin attack.

On this, Manjrekar stated:

"I would have personally preferred a Varun Chakravarthy in the squad over an Axar Patel, who is almost a replica of Ravindra Jadeja in T20s. Again, this selection shows India’s cautious approach to ICC selections. Axar’s batting has a lot to do with his inclusion. I would have strengthened my spin attack, considering the seam attack is a little thin with Mohammed Shami absent."

Yuzvendra Chahal didn't have the best of IPL seasons as he picked up just 18 wickets in 15 games and was expensive with an economy rate of 9.41. However, Manjrekar isn't worried about the leg-spinner's form as he believes the conditions in the Caribbean would be ideal for Chahal.

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