‘Allow Virat Kohli to play without pressure’
Virat Kohli has rapidly achieved celebrity status in India and beyond. Experts have labelled him as a long-term batting mainstay and future leader for India. HT reports. V Kohli | On a high | On a lowUpdated: Mar 22, 2012 01:42 IST
Virat Kohli has rapidly achieved celebrity status in India and beyond. His two match-winning knocks - an 86-ball 133 not out in Australia against Sri Lanka and Sunday's glorious 183 which helped India chase down their highest-ever total of 330 runs against Pakistan has led experts to label him as a long-term batting mainstay and future leader for India.
With all the hype surrounding Kohli, the one man who knows all about handling relentless pressure has advised caution over the attention the 23-year-old is drawing.
Sachin Tendulkar doesn't doubt Virat's talent but believes the youngster should not be subjected to undue pressure as his career is just taking off. "He is a very good player. He is a brilliant player. He has done well, but all I can say is don't put pressure on him. Let him play," he said.
The Little Master was relieved after finally nailing his 100th century against Bangladesh and it was apparent on his return from Dhaka on Wednesday, although India failed to qualify for the Asia Cup final.
"The pressure is off. It was a difficult phase and all of us had to wait for it for a long time. But it has made everyone realise, including me, that even after scoring 99 hundreds, it is not easy to score another one," he said.
Tendulkar wasn't unduly worried over India's premature exit. "We go out to win every match but sometimes it's not possible. Sometimes the opposition plays better cricket than you and that is what happened. I would not want to take the credit away from them (Bangladesh). I think they played well."
Rohit Sharma also drew Tendulkar's praise. The Mumbai batsman scored a valuable half-century and added 172 runs with Kohli that helped sustain the run chase against Pakistan. "Rohit batted very well, he showed a lot of composure. The way he built the partnership with Virat was very important for us and it happened at a crucial time," said Tendulkar. The Asia Cup drew the curtains on Tendulkar's international commitments for the season as he doesn't feature in the one-off T20 game India play against South Africa in Johannesburg on May 30. "Looking forward to next season, this season is over," he announced. However, the Mumbai Indians skipper will now turn his attention to IPL V, which kicks off on April 4.
First Published: Mar 21, 2012 18:17 IST