As India prepare to take on West Indies in the three-game T20I series in Kolkata from February 16, India skipper Rohit Sharma believes it’s only a matter of time before Virat Kohli rediscovers his goalscorer touch.
India vs West Indies, first T20I
Gardens of Eden, Kolkata
February 16, 7:00 p.m. local time
Prior to the start of the T20I series against West Indies, much of the talk surrounding the Indian squad revolved around former captain Virat Kohli’s form. It’s been more than two years since Kohli reached a century in international cricket with his last three-digit tally at the same venue against Bangladesh in 2019. His lean patch continued in the ODI series against the visitors as he looked far from his sublime self.
But skipper Rohit Sharma has backed Kohli to rediscover his mojo, saying all the media chatter isn’t helping his cause. Rohit said in his pre-match press conference: “If you can shut up for a while, I think he’ll be fine. We don’t need to talk too much from your side, then everything will be taken. in charge. . He’s in a big mental space from everything I see of him.”
“He’s been part of this international team for over a decade. If anyone has spent that long in international cricket, they know how to handle pressure situations, the environment, everything. It all starts with you guys. .If you guys can keep it quiet for a while then everything will fall into place.”
Apart from Kohli’s form, the Indian team will be quietly confident from the ODI leg of the series to continue their form. There will be some changes in the ODI setup, where Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Harshal Patel and Venkatesh Iyer could fit in. Bhuvneshwar Kumar could also return to add experience to the bowling unit. Washington Sundar, however, was ruled out after suffering a hamstring muscle strain.
For the visitors, the first concern will be the physical condition of their skipper Kieron Pollard. The experienced all-rounder has missed the last two ODIs with a niggle and West Indies are hoping he can make a comeback to add some firepower to their batting unit.
After their brilliant series win against England at home, however, the visitors will be much more confident that they can fight better in the T20I and will have some dangerous players in their ranks to challenge the hosts.
remember the last time
The two teams last faced each other in a T20I series in 2019, hosted by India. It was a close series with India edging the visitors 2-1. After winning the first contest by 6 wickets in Hyderabad, India lost the second game in Thiruvanthapuram by 8 wickets.
India finally sealed the decider in Mumbai, winning the contest by 67 points after a Virat Kohli masterclass. Kohli scored a belligerent 29-70 in the game, taking the West Indies bowlers to the cleaners. India posted 240/3 on the board and then limited the visitors to 173/8.
What they said:
Rohit Sharma (India captain): “The doors are open to everyone. We haven’t settled on anyone. In Australia we will be playing under very different conditions. We will need players of different skill sets. We have to prepare the players accordingly, whether they are whether it’s all-round spinners, fast bowler all-rounders, or lower order hitters, we also have to see the options for bowling, new ball, death overs, spinners in Powerplays, etc. Right now we’re dealing with options including we dispose.