Kohli serves timely reminder of T20 prowess

Virat Kohli showed he is more than just a promotional tool for T20 cricket with a blistering knock in the Indian Premier League as the former Indian captain sent out a warning to bowlers ahead of the World Cup in the U.S. and West Indies this year.

Despite playing only two T20 internationals since November 2022, Kohli is expected to make the squad for the June showpiece and he reminded selectors of his skills with a match-winning 77 for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Monday’s IPL game.

The game was just his second for Bengaluru following a two-month break from cricket, but the 35-year-old looked like he had never been away, helping his team successfully chase down the target of 177 set by Punjab Kings.

“I know my name is nowadays attached to just promoting the game in many parts of the world, when it comes to T20 cricket,” a smiling Kohli said, referring to comments by former England captain Kevin Pietersen during an earlier match.

“But, I’ve still got it, I guess.”

Kohli laid to rest doubts about his ability to reinvent his game with an ultra aggressive approach against Punjab, stepping out and hitting pace bowlers over cover as opposed to his trademark strokes that race off the turf.

“They know I play the cover drive pretty well so they’re not going to allow me to hit gaps. With guys like KG (Kagiso Rabada) and Arshdeep (Singh) as well, he’s tall. If they’re hitting length, you have to create some momentum in the ball,” he added. Baseball star Shohei Ohtani said on Monday he was the victim of theft by his former interpreter. At a Monday news conference,

“You have to come up with a gameplan here and there and try to keep improving your game.”

Kohli’s 51st IPL half-century laid the platform before Dinesh Karthik hit 28 off 10 balls to secure the win. I was disappointed I couldn’t finish the game,” Kohli said.

“But yeah, not a bad start for playing after two months and getting into the tournament.” – Reuters

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