"You cannot decide and go that you will play like that only" - Sanjay Bangar on whether Virat Kohli will continue to bat aggressively in T20 World Cup

India v Bangladesh - ICC Men
Virat Kohli has a stupendous overall record in T20 World Cups.

Sanjay Bangar has noted that Virat Kohli cannot adopt a predetermined aggressive approach heading into the 2024 T20 World Cup. He added that the former India skipper's focus will be on making match-winning contributions.

India will face Ireland in their T20 World Cup opener in New York on Wednesday, June 5. Considering that Yashasvi Jaiswal wasn't fielded in the warm-up game against Bangladesh at the same venue, Kohli might be seen opening with skipper Rohit Sharma.

During a discussion on the Star Sports show 'Game Plan', Bangar was asked whether he sees Virat Kohli bat with the same aggressive approach he had in the recently concluded IPL 2024.

"You cannot decide and go that you will play like that only because when you play for a long time for any team, obviously, you have the responsibility to win matches. So whichever way he plays, playing shots or in his own fashion, his focus will be more on winning matches," he responded.

The former India all-rounder expects the modern batting great to reach lofty heights in the global event.

"The way he has performed in T20 World Cups or any World Cup, he has raised his game a lot. So I have full belief that he will touch new heights in this World Cup," Bangar stated.

With 1141 runs at an average of 81.50 in 25 innings, Kohli is the highest run-scorer in T20 World Cups. He was also the top run-getter in the 2014 and 2022 editions but couldn't take his team to the title.


"He has started kneeling and playing the shot towards mid-wicket once again" - Harbhajan Singh on Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli employed the slog sweep effectively in IPL 2024. [P/C: iplt20.com]
Virat Kohli employed the slog sweep effectively in IPL 2024. [P/C: iplt20.com]

In the same discussion, Harbhajan Singh noted that a marked improvement in Virat Kohli's game against spin has put all questions about his strike rate to bed.

"The strike rate that is spoken about, probably it was because when the spinners used to come, he wasn't hitting as many sixes as others hit. However, if you see in the IPL this year, he has hit the most sixes. He has started kneeling and playing the shot towards mid-wicket once again. He used to play that shot if I talk about his initial days," he elaborated.

The former India spinner added that Kohli might even bring out the reverse sweep in the T20 World Cup.

"He stopped doing that after that, he started stepping out a lot and tried to play straight, but the cross-batted shot and the new approach we have seen, which used to be there earlier, has further enhanced and improved his game in this format. He is not playing the reverse sweep as of now. We might get to see that as well," Harbhajan observed.

Kohli amassed 741 runs at an impressive strike rate of 154.69 in 15 IPL 2024 innings. However, he might have to adopt a slightly more conservative approach at the start of the T20 World Cup, considering the bowler-friendly pitches in New York, where India will play their first three games.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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