Virat Kohli gets a last shot at T20 World Cup glory as India captain | Cricket News


DUBAI: virat Kohli will seek a fairytale ending to his leadership of India’s Twenty20 team as he pursues an elusive first major World Cup title.
The 32-year-old Kohli will step down as T20 captain after the 16-nation tournament in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, which begins on Sunday.
The prolific run scorer also stepped down as captain of the Indian Premier League’s Royal Challengers Bangalore and many have welcomed his decision to focus more on his hitting.
Kohli had been at the center of mounting speculation in recent months as hopes for success mounted.
Former India off-roader Irfan Pathan said Kohli can go to the World Cup, which will start for them against Pakistan on October 24, without pressure and that it will be good for the team.

“I think he will now enjoy his cricket more after making this decision,” said Pathan, who played a key role in opening India. World Cup T20 triumph in 2007, he told AFP.
“India will do well with the team, the confidence and the experience that they have.”
Kohli became captain in all formats after MS Dhoni gave up his limited overs lead in 2017. But India has not won a World Cup or a Champions Trophy since.
Kohli will continue to have Dhoni by his side as the former captain, who led India to the T20 title in 2007 and the crown of over 50 in 2011, is the team’s mentor for the tournament.
Kohli was nearing his debut in India when Dhoni’s team made history by winning the first T20 world title in Johannesburg.

The triumph triggered a T20 boom in South Asia and led to the birth of the IPL in 2008.
After making his ODI debut in 2008, Kohli soon created his own cricket brand, but has faced pressure from his failure to win a world title.
India, hosted and led by Dhoni, lost in the semi-finals to eventual West Indies winners despite an 89 undefeated by Kohli in 2016.
India also withdrew in the last four three years later, with Kohli, at the ODI World Cup.
India remains one of the favorites to lift the T20 trophy in Dubai on November 14 alongside champions Eoin Morgan from the West Indies and England.

Facing old rivals Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and two other teams in Group B, India expects a smooth path to the semi-finals.
“I will always want India to win, but the West Indies will be a favorite,” added Pathan.
“England and Australia have good attacks and Pakistan can never be ruled out. It will be a very, very competitive World Cup.”
The 15 members of the Indian squad and three reserve players have been in the UAE for over a month with their IPL teams getting used to the fields in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Swashbuckling opener Rohit Sharma is widely considered Kohli’s successor as Captain T20 and it will also be key for team occasions.
Fit KL Rahul and wicketkeeper-hitter Rishabh Pant round out the top-notch hitting spearhead, while Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will lead the pace attack.

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