Hayden backs under-fire Kohli to come good in Super 8s

Hayden backs under-fire Kohli to come good in Super 8s
By: TOI Cricket Posted On: June 19, 2024 View: 17

NEW DELHI: Matthew Hayden, a former Australian opening batsman, expressed his support for Virat Kohli on Wednesday, stating that he believes the Indian cricketer will perform well in the Caribbean phase of the T20 World Cup.
Hayden highlighted Kohli's ability to evaluate various playing conditions and surfaces, which he believes makes him an exceptional batsman on the international stage.
Despite Kohli's impressive performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, where he scored the most runs with 741, he has struggled to make a significant impact in the T20 World Cup so far.
In the group stage matches, Kohli managed scores of only 1, 4, and 0, leaving fans and experts eager to see him bounce back in the upcoming games.
"Kohli, in any condition, has been a world-class batter. These venues (Caribbean) where you have to think about the way you construct your innings and also think about the kind of realistic totals that are possible in these different venues," PTI quoted Hayden as saying on Star Sports Press Room.
"Outside of St Lucia, par scores are in the range of 160-170 and Virat, with all his experience, will be able to work out what to do, like hitting spin towards the windward side, depending on how significant it is.
"Virat is in a really good space, he's had extremely tough conditions and no one would have liked that in the competition. Everyone wants to see these great champions being able to play freely and that's going to be the case and experience counts."
Hayden expressed his support for Kohli to persist as an opener for the Indian team throughout the Super 8 phase of the tournament.
"During the IPL, I was advocating that if Kohli is going to be in the team, he needs to open. Virat at three, I don't think we get the best out of him. You can't just turn up and blast 250 on these wickets. You need thinking cricketers; it borders on performance during this World Cup.
"You look back at David Warner's performance this World Cup -- in Barbados on a sluggish wicket, he made 30-odd (39 in 16 balls vs England). It was a really well-constructed thirty. It depends on what your benchmark is. Are you looking at 100s, 50s, strike rate?
"The way Warner came out on a pretty (tough) wicket and blew the game away, that's what Kohli is going to be challenged with in the Caribbean. Just leave him alone. He will show you why the Indian selectors have had faith in him at that position."
The former Australian opener, however, pointed out that while Kohli's consistency and ability to anchor the innings are vital, he must also ensure that he keeps the scoreboard ticking at a decent pace.
"And he needs to continue also to have a great strike back because clearly we've seen the pattern emerge here in the World Cup is that, those six overs, man you have to be in front of the game here.
"It's too hard to catch up if you're looking to go, in the back half of this game. Must be a good, clinical first 10 overs."
Former India skipper Krishnamachari Srikkanth shared similar sentiments to those expressed by Hayden.
"Virat is king of kings. We are playing against Afghanistan tomorrow. And I don't think we should just worry. IJust leave him alone. He will score once again. He will win matches for India. Guys, just leave him alone," he said.

Read this on TOI Cricket

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