Last-ditch attempt to save T20 WC spot? Virat Kohli’s post-match comments reek of desperation

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New Delhi: “I’ve still got it, I guess,” Virat Kohli said sarcastically after receiving the Man of the Match award for his well-compiled half-century against Punjab Kings on March 25, Monday. Kohli’s comments were in response to the speculations surrounding his future in T20I cricket and his place in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2024.

Kohli’s comments also reflected his displeasure that while his name is still being used to promote the game ahead of the mega-event in the United States and the West Indies, talks over his ability as a T20 cricketer remain in the headlines.

After suffering a rare failure in RCB’s opener against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kohli bounced back brilliantly against Punjab Kings. The Indian superstar scored a match-winning 77 off 49 balls to win his 17th Man of the Match award in the cash-rich tournament.

He equalled MS Dhoni’s record with his latest MoM award and now chases former teammate AB de Villiers, who sits atop the list with 25 awards.

Desperate Kohli eager to impress

Back after a two-month paternity break, Kohli got into the act with a clinical display against PBKS. With the T20 World Cup 2024 set to begin straight after the IPL 2024, the speculations surrounding the team composition for the mega-event will dominate the headlines throughout the 17th edition of the lucrative T20 league.

Though Kohli has nothing left to improve in international and franchise cricket, his spot remains doubtful for the T20 WC. With India having plenty of young options in the top order, the selection committee faces the headache of fitting Kohli into the T20I set-up. Kohli, though, can make a strong case for himself with a prolific campaign. That’s why his post-match comments on Monday came as a surprise.

“I know my name is nowadays quite attached to just promoting the game in many parts of the world when it comes to T20 cricket. But, I’ve still got it, I guess,” said the 35-year-old star batter

A player of Kohli’s calibre doesn’t need to come out and make such statements and should let his willow do the talking. These kinds of comments don’t suit a player of his stature. It only shows his desperation and realisation of his uphill task to make the T20 World Cup squad.

Kohli, alongside, Rohit was recalled to India’s T20I team, more than a year after they last appeared in the shortest format, for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan in January. Kohli played just two matches, scoring 29 and 0 in his two innings.

Earlier this month, reports emerged that Kohli is likely to be dropped from the T20I World Cup 2024 squad with a preference emerging for young guns like Rinku Singh, Shivam Dube, and Jitesh Sharma. Kohli’s T20I strike rate (138.15) and the pitch conditions in the Caribbean which are ill-suited for Kohli’s style of play could become a major roadblock for the Indian batting superstar.

IPL 2024 Full Coverage

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