With the Test series done and dusted, following Team India’s 3-1 over England, former Indian batsman VVS Laxman feels that skipper Virat Kohli should play freely and express himself against England bowlers in the upcoming five-match T20I series.
Virat Kohli had a miserable outing in the four-match Test series as he accumulated just 172 runs in six innings including two half-centuries. Things won’t be any different in the white-ball games as the will look to add pressure on him to dismiss him cheaply.
“I definitely think it’s a strong fast bowling unit as far as England is concerned because they have got a lot of variations; they’ve got pace in the form of Mark Wood and Archer. Good death bowling options in the form of Jordan; Ben Stokes can be their all-rounder,” he said.
“But their spin department looks a little weak compared to their fast bowling department. But as such, I feel that Kohli is a class batsman, he’s an outstanding batsman and with depth and quality in the Indian batting line-up, I think he should go and express himself,” he added.
Laxman further pointed out that Virat Kohli should not focus on playing the anchor’s role as Team India has a world-class batting line-up. He concluded by saying that it is a good time for Team India to test the bench ahead of the World T20.
“It’s not necessary for him to play the anchor role, because we know that he’s a stroke player. If he plays with positive intent if he plays his high percentage shots, not only his strike rate will be high, but his consistency also will be there for everyone to see — he’s a match-winner,” he stated
“With Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul opening the innings, and then you have got Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, I think they have a lot of depth. So, Kohli should go out and express himself and play with a lot of freedom, and that’s when he’s very dangerous,” Laxman added.
“They know that they are the number one T20 playing nation in world cricket, we saw what they did in the 50-over format — how much they are focused on winning the World Cup. I think it’s the same goal for Eoin Morgan and the England team,” he explained
“It’s a great opportunity for Team India because you are playing five matches in your home condition, followed by IPL and Asia Cup before the T20 World Cup. It’s a great opportunity to test your bench, which is why I feel the squad is very formidable — as far as the Indian squad is concerned,” he signed off.