Former Indian left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra feels that charismatic batsman Virat Kohli will be disappointed with the way his innings panned out during India’s eventual unsuccessful chase in the third T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Kohli, who scored a 61-ball 85, for once was not able to take his side past the finishing line as India eventually fell 12 runs short of the target. Nehra pointed out that while Virat Kohli got off the block early in his knock, he could have accelerated a bit more against the spinners during the middle-overs, given the fact that he was a set-batsman.
“The way Kohli started – 23 off 20, but when you’re set, in the middle overs as well he scored some 20 off 20 or 23 off 20. When he reached his 50, he had played 41 balls. After that, he scored 35 runs off the next 19 but from overs 7 to 15, when Dhawan and Samson got out, it all came down to Kohli,” Ashish Nehra said on Cricbuzz.
Nehra also went on to add that since Virat Kohli’s strong suit is to play the role of a sheet anchor, he needs support from other batsmen during a run-chase.
The former RCB bowling coach signed off by saying that when it comes to needing a huge number of runs at the backend of the innings, as India needed in the final T20I, the chances of India winning when Hardik Pandya is at the crease are more as compared to the situation when Virat Kohli stays and Pandy gets out.
“In the end, India needed 43 to win off three overs, something that many teams back themselves to pull off. I believe Kohli’s role in this Indian team is that of playing an anchor. That’s why his average is so high. We have discussed this earlier as well that even when he’s playing for RCB, it gets difficult to finish the game all by himself. There, he needs AB de Villiers for support. Here too, he needed Hardik Pandya’s support,” Ashish Nehra explained.
“In the previous game, as long as Pandya stood there. If Pandya gets out and Kohli stays, India have a higher chance of losing the game. And if Kohli gets out and Pandya stays, you’ll have a higher chance of winning. Pandya was able to do that and even Kohli knows it – what his game is and what Pandya’s is. He needs players around him.” he signed off.