Virat Kohli is a name that’s on every Indian cricket fan’s lips. His performances in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 are going to be key as far as his selection in India’s T20 World Cup 2024 is concerned. While there are those who feel his strike-rate needs to be better, another section of fans are of the opinion that Kohli’s consistency with the bat fits him perfectly in the national team’s middle-order. After Kohli brought up a 72-ball 113 against Rajasthan Royals, the chatter over his T20 future has intensified. Though the match ended in a defeat for RCB, with the Rajasthan Royals securing a deserved win, Kohli’s knock has divided opinions.

Amid the chatter around Virat’s T20 future, veteran Pakistan cricketer Ahmad Shahzad feels the BCCI need to think about the batting stalwart’s T20 World Cup selection ‘wisely’.

In the match, Kohli hit 12 fours and four sixes in his eighth IPL hundred — a composed 113 not out off 72 balls but RCB managed only 183 for 3 as none of the batters, Kohli included, upped the ante on a track where Rajasthan Royals spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin proved difficult propositions.

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“The wicket looks quite different from the outside. It feels like it’s flat, but the ball is holding up in the pitch, that’s when you realise the pace changes,” Kohli told official broadcasters after RCB innings.

Kohli also defended the strategy of not going after the bowlers from word go.

“One of us (Virat or Faf) had to bat till the end. I feel this total is effective on this pitch. I am not coming in with any premeditation. I knew I couldn’t get over aggressive, just that I had to keep the bowlers guessing. They think I will come hard at them,” Kohli said.

“It’s just experience and maturity of playing the conditions. Even if there’s dew, the surface is rough and dry, won’t be easy for the batters,” he observed.

He felt that hitting Chahal or Ashwin wasn’t an easy task.

“I couldn’t get under the carrom ball against Ashwin. Couldn’t slog towards mid-wicket, so had to target straight down the ground,” said Kohli.

With PTI inputs

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