‘Indian batsmen must follow Kohli’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 29, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:50 AM, June 29, 2019

‘Indian batsmen must follow Kohli’

World Cup winner Krishnamachari Srikkanth has praised India captain Virat Kohli for his record-breaking feats but says the rest of the batting line-up needs to get its act together.

Unbeaten India are cruising towards the semifinals, with five wins from six games plus one washout.

“To reach 20,000 (international) runs quicker than any man before him is a fantastic achievement but his true greatness lies in his adaptability,” Srikkanth wrote of Kohli in a column for the International Cricket Council.

“The captain can play every role for his team, across every format.”

But the former opener said the concern was that the batting was “slightly the Virat Kohli show”, following four consecutive 50s from the skipper.

“At the top of the order, Rohit Sharma has not fired the last couple of times, and that means KL Rahul needs to do more,” he said.

“He has made some fantastic starts but then got himself out -- he will know better than anyone that he must convert those starts into big scores. Everyone knows he is capable of doing it, he has done it before and will need to correct his course.

“In the middle order Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav have yet to really convince. I think it’s fair to say that their approach needs some fine-tuning.”

Srikkanth, who won the World Cup with India in 1983, said he would consider putting Rishabh Pant, who replaced the injured Shikhar Dhawan in the squad, in at number four.

“They have brought him over here now, he is ready to go and, most importantly, he has played in England before so understands the conditions.”

Srikkanth praised India’s bowling attack.

“Mohammed Shami has come in and been a real wicket-taker -- the same guy who was so impressive at the last Cricket World Cup four years ago.

“And the best news of all is that the wrist spinners are coming to the party.

“As this tournament reaches the business end, they are going to be more and more important and Kohli will be so pleased with how they are performing.”

Srikkanth said India’s next game, on Sunday against England, was the biggest game of the World Cup so far.

“They (India) come into the game unbeaten and will be desperate to keep it that way while England are in “must-win” territory now.

“India can afford to lose, but they won’t want to -- carrying that positive mindset into the semifinals is absolutely crucial.”

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