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“For India’s Sake…”: Anil Kumble’s Humble Virat Kohli Plea Over T20 World Cup 2024

Former India cricketer Anil Kumble heaped praise on Virat Kohli and expects the star Indian batter to continue his prime IPL form in the T20 World Cup as well. Kohli’s scintillating 92 off 47 balls followed by a collective bowling effort helped RCB recorded a 60-run win over PBKS, their fifth win of the IPL 2024 after losing six games in a row. Batting first, Bengaluru posted 241/7 before bowling Punjab out for 181 runs, earning their fourth win in a row. Kohli slammed seven fours and six sixes at a strike-rate of 195.74 in his vintage knock, which also took him past the 600-run mark in IPL 2024.

“He’s been in outstanding form. He had a break coming into this IPL and since then, he’s been relentless in his pursuit of excellence. You could see that. He’s at the top of the scoring table with 634 runs, and I’m sure for RCB, you would want him to win the next two games and hopefully qualify. But for India’s sake, you’d want his form to continue in the World Cup as well,” Kumble said to JioCinema.

Kumble also praised Rajat Patidar, who struck 55, his fourth fifty of the season, and ably supported Kohli after an early tumble adding 76 runs in 32 deliveries for the third wicket partnership.

Patidar stepped up the attack against spinners by smacking Rahul Chahar for three sixes in his first over and was given another life when Jonny Bairstow was late to react to a catch behind. He got his fifty in 21 balls when he pulled Sam Curran over a short fine leg for six, before nicking behind to keeper off the left-arm pacer.

“He’s an international player now. It was important for RCB that the middle order clicked because it was Virat Kohli alone and then, Faf du Plessis came into the scene and scored some runs at the top of the innings in the powerplay. They needed someone solid.

Patidar has been really solid for them. That strike rate, to come in and take the game on to the opposition, we’ve seen that in the last three or four games that he’s come on. He’s doing exceptionally well, and I think his partnership with Virat Kohli gave them the impetus and platform to finish at 240,” said Kumble.

Former Australia cricketer Shane Watson was highly impressed with Kohli’s all-round effort and helping other batters to score around him. Kohli was electric on the field after he made a stunning runout from deep mid-wicket by a direct hit to dismiss dangerous-looking Shahshank Singh, who got out on 19 balls 37 after surviving a shoulder injury.

RCB had a superb start to their defence as Swapnil Singh trapped Prabhsimran Singh lbw on the fourth ball. Bairstow hit four boundaries and a six in his 16-ball 27, before falling to Lockie Ferguson on the second last ball of the powerplay. Rossouw kept PBKS in the hunt by smashing boundaries at will to hit his first fifty of the competition, which he reached by thumping a six over Green’s head.

After getting some attention from the physio for an injury, Rossouw holed out to long off against Karn Sharma, who went on to castle Jitesh Sharma.

“RCB was excellent. They got some opportunities early as Virat Kohli was dropped twice. This allowed him to get going in his innings and he batted so beautifully once he capitalized on those chances. 92 runs at a strike rate of above 190, it’s very impressive. Everyone around him was able to contribute as well. Rajat Patidar was exceptional, the 55 runs he got with six big sixes,” said Watson.

“Cameron Green has come good as well. Everyone just put their hand up when they needed to. With the ball, they were clinical. In the field, they made a couple of little errors, but you could see the intensity crank up in the field when they needed it to. Some great catches and a great run-out from Virat Kohli to get Shashank out,” he concluded.

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