India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2023: File image of Indian cricket team star Virat Kohli© AFP
Virat Kohli knows the cameras will be on him for the next two months. Starting with the Asia Cup and then the Cricket World Cup 2023, Virat Kohli will be expected to deliver. His first test will be in the India vs Pakistan contest in Sri Lanka on Saturday. Virat Kohli has performed well against Pakistan. His cracking six off Haris Rauf at the MCG is still talked about a lot in cricket circles. Australia’s World Cup-winning spinner Brad Hogg is among the admirers of that shot.
Hogg said that Kohli’s hunger should be a cause of concern for the rivals. “I was looking at Virat Kohli’s stats the other day. Tendulkar got a slightly better conversion rate of 100s. Virat Kohli’s got a better record. I just think he has got his hunger back and a little bit of pressure taken off him. I think he’s got unfinished business and that’s probably the big danger for opposition teams. That innings against Pakistan here at the MCG, hitting Haris Rauf back over his head of good length. That was the best shot that I have ever seen in cricket. It was brilliant. Fans got to realize that there is a lot of pressure on Virat Kohli. He also can have ups and downs even the great Sachin Tendulkar had ups and downs. When he has got that right frame of mind and has that pressure off his back we see a dominant Virat Kohli. I am not worried about the Indian batting. I am probably worried about the Indian bowling attack. It is their bowling which doesn’t get them off to a good start,” he said on Backstage with Boria.
After the Asia Cup’s conclusion, teams will prepare to face for the ICC ODI World Cup. The former World Cup-winning Australian spinner picked South Africa as the dark horse to make it to the semis.
“Well, West Indies are out of it. I love the Netherlands and they might upset a team or two, maybe South Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka won’t be involved in the top 4. England too might not make it to the last four as they do not have a stabilized middle order. They don’t have Jofra and I just don’t think they know what their bowling combination will be. We are not going to see a dominant England. They rely too heavily on their top three. I don’t think their middle order is enough experience so they are out of the fire. Pakistan with their spin and pace strength will be very good defensively. Their batters are too aggressive enough. Australia will be going in as favourites. They have enough variety in the middle order, India on their home soil with powerful batting and bowling. South Africa can be the biggest surprise package. Keshav Maharaj can play a huge role. They have quality batting depth and have two fiery pace bowlers in Nortje and Rabada. So, South Africa for me is the team that could upset India and Australia,” said Hogg.
Finally on being asked to comment on Kuldeep Yadav, the Aussie chinaman bowler said, “He had a great IPL this year. He has come back well. What defines a player is someone who has been dropped. He has been out of the game, and worked on his action. He is not falling away as much. He is now getting a more revolution on the ball and drift as well. I think Rohit Sharma captains him well. He is a fighter. Absolutely loved the way he gone about it. Just loved the way he has come back into that team and just performed straightaway.”
With ANI inputs
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