“Virat Kohli will play…”: India’s former pick of Batter’s role in ODI World Cup

After losing 2-1 to Bangladesh in a just-concluded three-match ODI series, Team India is set to face Sri Lanka in 50-over again, starting on January 10. The likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat kohli, who have been rested in the ongoing T20I against Sri Lanka, will feature in the ODI series, not participating in the previous T20Is. In preparation for the upcoming ODI World Cup at home later this year, the team led by Rohit Sharma will play a total of 35 ODI matches in 2023. Despite a disappointing finish in the 2022 T20 World Cup, Team India had some positives like the epic comeback of Virat Kohli. The batting star, who was going through a rough patch, became the league’s top scorer with a total of 296 runs in 6 games.

As the teams are preparing for the ODI World Cup 2023, former Indian tennis player Krishnamachari Srikkanth said that Virat Kohli will act as an “anchor” and will help young players like Ishan kishan to excel in the team.

“What role do we need to give them clarity on? Look at Ishan Kishan for example, the way he hits the ball, he even scored the double of the last century. Just ask these players to go out there and play your game, don’t restrict them. Just like Ishan Kishan, you need two or three more players who are not afraid to show themselves, that’s number one. Srikkanth told Star Sports that all-rounders, all-around bowlers, all-round bowlers are required in this lineup.

“There needs to be a mix of these players in the team. What about ODI cricket? Like Gautam Gambhir has played an important role in the past, in the same way that Virat Kohli will play it this time around. He will help players like Ishan Kishan excel just like he had a century when Kishan had a dual century. It’s all about freedom, giving your players the freedom, to do what you want, to play your game even when you’re out, that’s the approach the team should have.” he added.

In ODI’s third and final match against Bangladesh in December, Ishan Kishan scored the double of the century with just 126 balls, the fastest in ODI history. Team India went on to score 409/8 in 50 rounds and eventually won the game with 227 runs.

Talking about the ongoing T20I against Sri Lanka, Team India won the first match with 2 runs but ended up losing the second match with 16 runs after failing to catch the 207 goal. Third T20I match and match Finals will be held on Saturday in Rajkot. In the absence of Rohit Sharma, comprehensive Hardik Pandya led Team India in the T20I series.

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