Virat Kohli urged to 'get a little taste of blood' against Australia in T20 WC Super 8: 'That human can do anything' | Crickit
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Virat Kohli urged to 'get a little taste of blood' against Australia in T20 WC Super 8: 'That human can do anything'

Jun 24, 2024 04:27 PM IST

Virat Kohli is expected to play a fine knock for India against Australia in their Super Eight game at the T20 World Cup.

The last time India played Australia in a T20 World Cup, the world witnessed a Virat Kohli special. His unbeaten 82 in the quarterfinal of the 2016 World T20 guided India home in a famous chase at Mohali's PCA Stadium. The knock became synonymous with Kohli's career, dubbed the best innings of his life for the longest time. Then came Kohli's MCG epic against Pakistan, and while the 2022 T20WC was surely something out of the divine, the OG Kohli fans connect with and relate to his Mohali classic more.

Will Virat Kohli find his groove against Australia?(ANI)
Will Virat Kohli find his groove against Australia?(ANI)

Seven years have passed. India and Australia missed out on playing each other in the 2021 and 2022 editions of the T20 World Cup. But here we are, seven months after Australia crushed a billion Indian hearts in Ahmedabad on the night of November 19. The emotional impact of that loss still lingers, raising the stakes of this game even further. India have a chance to eliminate Australia even before the Super Eights, as a win for Rohit Sharma's Men in Blue will send the 2021 Champions packing, but while the theme around this contest is believed to be India's urge to exact revenge for the 2023 World Cup loss, a few eyes will certainly be on Kohli.

The former India captain has been awfully quiet by his standards but is tipped by Robin Uthappa to get a big score against Australia in the Super Eight game at St. Lucia on Monday. The former India batter, in a candid chat with spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, said Kohli has been getting better with each innings, and the game against Australia could well be the one where he roars back to form.

"...to get a solid Virat Kohli innings from him, especially looking at the whole tournament's perspective. I want a 65-70 not out. Even if you get (it at) a 120-125 strike rate, I do not really care. I want that one solid innings from Virat Kohli. Because once he gets that little taste of blood, that human being can do anything. And for me, before we hit the semifinals, I want him to have that one innings," said Uthappa.

Kohli has had a mixed bag of experiences in the T20 World Cup. With just 5 runs from three innings in the USA leg, Kohli looked a bit more assured on the Caribbean pitches but far from his free-flowing best. He scored a scratchy run-a-ball 24 against Afghanistan before displaying a lot more intent against Bangladesh, scoring 37 off 28 balls and hitting three sixes and a boundary in the process. However, the Kohli of IPL 2024, who set the tournament on fire with over 700 runs, is yet to come to the fore. Who knows? Kohli could well target his old nemesis team to break the deadlock in a match of such high magnitude.

Rohit Sharma should make no change to his batting approach'

Kohli isn't the only one expected to come good tonight. Uthappa also has an inkling that Rohit Sharma too can find his groove against Australia. After starting the T20 World Cup with a fine 52 against Ireland, the India skipper has endured low scores of 13, 3, 8 and 23. Rohit has perished in an attempt to give India explosive starts – similar to the 2023 World Cup – but the approach hasn't given the desired results. Uthappa, however, believes Rohit should stick to what he's doing and make no alterations about how he is going about his batting.

"Rohit is very clear with the way he approaches his batting. I think he should continue to play the way he feels and believes that is the best way he will serve the team," added Uthappa.

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