Rohit Sharma backs Virat Kohli ahead of IND vs PAK clash in T20 World Cup: ‘Kind of experience that he has…’

Apart from this, his bonding with teammate and batting maestro Virat Kohli is widely celebrated. Both the players have supported each other quite several times.

On Saturday, addressing a press conference ahead of the India vs Pakistan clash, Rohit was asked questions about Virat Kohli and his recent performances.

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To this Sharma replied, “I don’t want to rely on one or two individuals to win us the game,” adding, “I think all 11 of us need to contribute. Of course, there are key players who are going to play key roles for us but I think everyone needs to chip in whatever they can, however they can in their best possible way.”

“[Virat] didn’t play the Bangladesh [warm-up] game but he’s had enough training under his belt before this game…the kind of experience that he has, playing all over the world, playing in big tournaments, nothing can beat that.”

Sharma had backed Kohli even during the selection for Team India for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, even when questions were raised on Kohli’s not-so-good strike rate.

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He had said in the press conference after the team announcement, “We nearly made our squad combination before the IPL began (in March). There is nobody new coming into the squad, and a lot of our players have been playing T20s before the IPL. We just had to fill in some gaps and that’s where the IPL has helped us. We knew our core group and only made a few additions.”

Adding more onto it, BCCI’s selector Ajit Agarkar said, “We didn’t even discuss Virat Kohli’s IPL strike rate — playing a World Cup is a different pressure. You want that experience in your team. If we haven’t won a trophy in the recent past, it is not for a lack of trying. It just boils down to the day.”

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Earlier in 2021, when Virat Kohli was leading team India in 2021 T20 World Cup, Kohli was asked faced tough questions during the post-match press conference. When a journalist raised concerns about Rohit Sharma’s place in the playing XI, Virat countered with a rhetorical question, as quoted by OneCricket, “Will you drop Rohit Sharma from T20Is?” and then laughed.

Kohli is not only a batting legend, but his prowess at thriving under pressure makes all the difference, especially against big teams like Pakistan.

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According to stats, in 10 T20Is against Pakistan, Indian batting maestro Virat Kohli has slammed 488 runs at an astonishing average of 81.33, including five half-centuries.

India vs Pakistan head-to-head stats:

India and Pakistan have played 12 T20I matches against each other, where India have won 9 while Pakistan have won thrice. These archrivals have played 7 matches against each other in T20 World Cups. Pakistan have managed to win only one of those.

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India Vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2024: Squads

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan

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Published: 09 Jun 2024, 03:39 PM IST

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