"Virat will have to tone down his aggression....": Mohammed Kaif on batter's role against Pakistan in T20 WC clash

    The Hawk
    June8/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    As India gears up for the Group A clash at Nassau County International Stadium, following a dominant win over Ireland, Kaif believes Kohli should play with a strike rate around 130, ensuring stability in the batting lineup.

    Virat Kohli

    Mumbai: Former Indian cricketer Mohammed Kaif said that star batter Virat Kohli will have to tone down his strike rate during the high-octane ICC T20 World Cup clash against Pakistan taking place in New York on Sunday.
    The highly-anticipated T20 World Cup Group A clash between India and Pakistan will take place on Sunday at New York's Nassau County International Stadium. Having secured a comprehensive win against Ireland, India will be riding high on confidence and winning momentum. However, Pakistan on the other hand will be aiming to overcome the blues from defeat to co-hosts and World Cup debutants USA by defeating their biggest rival in the sport.
    Speaking on Star Sports, Kaif said while Virat is a danger for every team, he will have to tone down his aggression against Pakistan. Notably in the last match against Ireland, Virat stepped out of his crease and looked to play a big shot but got out for just one run in five balls.
    "Forget Pakistan, Virat Kohli is a danger for every team. Any team that plays against him would not find it that easy to get him out. However, I feel he will have to tone down his aggression a little. He could score only one run off five balls in the last match, stepped down the wicket, got a top edge, and got out," he responded.

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    Kaif said that Virat in great form and is coming to the tournament after a stupendous Indian Premier League (2024) season with the bat for Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), where he scored 741 runs in 15 innings at 61.75 and a strike rate of 154.69, with a century and five fifties. Virat registered his highest-ever strike rate in his IPL career and was exceptional against spinners, taking a more attacking approach against them.
    Kaif urged Virat to go on with a striker rate of around 130, instead of 140-150 and wait for bad balls.
    "Virat Kohli has form and is coming after playing exceptionally well in the IPL. He scored close to 700 runs. We saw the domination where he was attacking in the powerplay and hitting boundaries, playing slog sweeps, and hitting sixes against spin," Kaif said.
    "He is able to play every shot but I feel he needs to tone down his strike rate slightly. Go at a strike rate of around 130 and do not run close to 140-150. His role will be to bat 15 to 20 overs and score 60-70 runs. 70 runs from Virat Kohli's bat will be a very good knock. Take a little time at the start, wait for the bad balls, and then play your shots," he added.
    Kaif also said that Virat could play at number three and it is his right position on a tricky surface.
    I feel he can probably play at No. 3 as well. He opened and I can understand that he will open tomorrow as well, but I feel No. 3 is Virat Kohli's right position on such a pitch where the ball is moving. He can play till the end, run in the middle overs, and punish the bad balls," he said.
    At number three in T20Is, Virat has scored 3,076 runs at an average of 53.96 and a strike rate of 135.26, with 32 half-centuries. His best score is 94*.