Ever since India’s ouster from the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final, the team has been led by two different captains in the white-ball formats. Hardik Pandya has led the Men in Blue in T20Is whereas Rohit Sharma continues to lead the side in the 50-over format.
In fact, Rohit and Virat Kohli are yet to play a T20I since the T20 World Cup in Australia last year. Moreover, the selectors have not provided any clarification on their future in the shortest format.
Meanwhile, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar has advocated for Kohli’s inclusion in next year’s T20 World Cup, slated to be held in West Indies and US from June 4 to June 30.
“Hundred per cent, he should be there in the T20 team. What he did in the previous T20 World Cup and in those close matches, I don’t see the reason why he can’t be seen playing T20 cricket and next year’s T20 World Cup,” Bangar told a YouTube channel ‘Cricket Basu’.
“You know that in big situations where emotions run high, one small mistake could cost you dear. You need big players who have gone through those situations. At that point, it doesn’t really matter what your strike-rate is, or what you have done in the IPL, in big games you require big match players. He (Kohli) showed such spirit in the India-Pakistan game,” he added.
For Bangar, batting at the highest level isn’t about hitting fours and sixes only and scoring ones and twos gives Kohli an edge over others.
“Everyone has a style of scoring and it doesn’t mean that only big hitters can win a game. If that would have been the case, the West Indies team would have won all the T20 World Cups. Virat Kohli is such a batsman who can score a hundred without hitting a six. And he has done that. Against Gujarat Titans, he didn’t score a single six and yet scored a century. All his shots were grounded and that speaks volumes about Virat Kohli,” he elaborated.
Bangar also hailed Virat Kohli for his top-notch fitness standards and the success he brought as a captain of the Indian team.
“Virat has taken inspiration from a generation of cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. He is a pioneer. He has redefined fitness standards and aggression on the field. Being in Australia and beating them in their backyard was quite an achievement for the team under Virat Kohli. His style of captaincy of fighting for every inch and coupled with his batting prowess made him a very special cricketer.
"Everything clicked. Our bowling also clicked during that phase. The bulk of runs were scored by Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. That time the Indian team did special things under Virat’s captaincy,” Bangar remarked.