Veteran India batter Virat Kohli returned to his vintage best in the Asia Cup 2022. The Men in Blue might have been knocked out of the multi-nation tournament but he is still leading the top run-scorer chart with 276 runs to his name from five innings at an average of 92 and a strike rate of 147.50, including 1 century and 2 fifties.
Kohli's form came as a big relief for India as the countdown for the T20 World Cup 2022 has already started. The showpiece event is due to be played in Australia from October 16 to November 13.
Speaking to India News Sports, former India selector Saba Karim said India should let Kohli play in his own template and bat around him.
“Virat Kohli has the ability to up the ante even if he plays run-a-ball for the first few deliveries. So this is the right template for Team India where others bat around him and go for the big shots. You need a batter who adapts to the situation and controls the innings and among all the batters they have, Kohli is the most experienced in playing this way," Karim stated.
Kohli hitting his maiden T20I ton while opening the innings in India’s last Asia Cup 2022 Super-4 clash against Afghanistan has once again sparked the debate around his batting position in the shortest format of the game.
Since it was a dead-rubber fixture for India, skipper Rohit Sharma took a rest and Kohli opened the innings alongside stand-in captain KL Rahul.
Although he usually bats at No. 3, Virat Kohli didn’t find any issue at the top as he slammed 122 not out off 61 balls with 12 fours and 6 sixes.
According to Saba Karim, Kohli will remain a threat to the opposition irrespective of his batting position.
“We need to understand that we played good cricket before the Asia Cup with the current template and if we rectify a couple of mistakes that we made, we are good to go. No matter where he bats in the top order, Kohli will remain a threat to the opposition. So it is important for the management to preserve players like he, Rohit and Hardik so that they give their best in the T20 World Cup," he added.
With his brutal knock against Afghanistan, Virat Kohli ended his much talked about century drought, which lasted 1020 days to be precise. The former India skipper also equalled Ricky Ponting's tally of 71 international centuries and only Sachin Tendulkar (100) is now ahead of him.