‘This Is The Time To Get Behind Virat Kohli’- Harsha Bhogle

The renowned cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle feels that Virat Kohli is going through a tough time in this ongoing T20 World Cup 2024, in the West Indies and United States of America (USA), and it’s the exact time when the fan clubs need to stop having war among themselves and rally around the superstar of world cricket.

The former India captain is coming into the tournament on the back of a successful Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, where he earned the ‘Orange Cap’ with the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) side, collecting 741 runs in 15 innings at an average of over 61 and a strike rate of around 155, with five half-centuries and one hundred, with the best score of unbeaten 113-runs.

Coming into the ninth edition of the world event, the attention was on Virat Kohli and how he would again come up with a mountain of runs as he has been doing in this tournament history. But the struggle for him continued for the whole course, as India prepared for the final against South Africa.

‘This is time to rally around’- Harsha Bhogle supports Virat Kohli

In the group stage of the tournament for India at the Nassau County International Stadium in New York, the pitch was quite juicy as the bowlers, especially the pacers were enjoying the conditions for the full quota of 20-overs, and batting was the hardest one as even a score of 110 could be easily defendable.

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Since the last year, India has decided to change the way they used to play T20 cricket, and that has put Virat Kohli under a bit of pressure whose natural game would be to take some time in the middle and go for the chase towards the backend of the innings. But he reacted with the new flow and aimed to smash from the very first ball.

In the very first group game in New York, Kohli looked to use his feet against the fast bowler, as the ball swung a little and took the outside edge of his blade and died in the hands of the third man fielder to find them strolling back to the dressing room.

In the second game against Pakistan, he started with a sweet boundary through covers, and it felt like he would the game on from the position, but on the very next delivery, Virat Kohli played the short and slow ball outside his body and found the hands of the fielder.

In the next game, India were chasing a low total, and on the very first ball of the left-arm pacer Saurabh Netravalkar, the batter got a faint outside edge. When their campaign moved to the Caribbean, it felt like India would look to use the conditions, but he found the fielder after a scratchy knock.

In the very next game of the ‘super eight’ stage against Bangladesh, India lost Rohit Sharma early in the innings, as Virat Kohli charged for a few beautiful shots before again failing to carry the momentum. Australia came up with a good plan of bowling a short ball to send him on a five-ball duck.

In the semifinal in Guyana, Kohli began with a six, but again two balls later, saw his stumps being broken as he used his feet to thump Reece Tropley out of the ground.

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The veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle has requested the fans to back Virat Kohli who could come up with a match-winning knock in the final against South Africa.

‘Sometimes there is very angry and vicious banter from fan clubs on social media. When a player is down is the time to show your class.’ Harsha Bhogle wrote on his ‘X’ handle, formerly known as Twitter. ‘And this is the time to get behind Virat Kohli who could well produce a match-winning performance in the final. But irrespective, this is the time to rally around.’

In seven innings, Kohli could acquire 75 T20I runs at an average of 10.71, at a strike rate of 100 with a best score of only 37. The question stands can he come up with a final punch during the final of the T20 World Cup 2024 against South Africa on June 29, at the Kensington Oval, in Bridgetown in Barbados?

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