Cricket

Virat Kohli happy to alter his role on account of Rohit Sharma’s red-hot form

India opener Rohit Sharma has set the stage on fire with five centuries and one fifty in the ongoing World Cup 2019. He has so far scored 647 runs from six matches and is currently the highest run-scorer of the competition. On the other hand, Virat Kohli, who has scored five half-centuries, is yet to register a hundred in the World Cup. Kohli the aggressor is now playing the role of sheet anchor and he is perfectly happy with it.

Rohit Sharma’s swashbuckling form in the ongoing tournament has forced Indian skipper Virat Kohli to reinvent his role in the batting order. Kohli has more or less batted as middle-overs orchestrator which he is happy to carry on with, in the semifinal clash against New Zealand on July 9 (Tuesday) at the Old Trafford in Manchester.

The Indian skipper is so used to getting one ton after another, it is a surprise for his legion of fans to watch him go century-less for eight games in a row. On being asked if it bothered him, the ‘run-machine’ emphatically replied “not at all.” Kohli has always been a quintessential hero of Indian batting line-up but does not mind letting his deputy Rohit Sharma take the World Cup centre-stage.

Rohit’s dominance is giving him and others a chance to control the middle-over phase. Kohli admitted that his job was to anchor the middle overs and set the stage for the batters to play shots in the death overs. He is looking forward to continue doing his job of holding one end tight and letting the other strike the ball in the semifinals.

“It’s been a different kind of role I have played in this World Cup,” Kohli told reporters at Old Trafford. “It’s great that Rohit has been scoring so consistently, which means that coming in the latter half of the innings, you have to play a different role, which is controlling the middle overs and letting guys like Hardik (Pandya), Kedar (Jadhav), MS (Dhoni) and Rishabh (Pant) express themselves,” he added.

The skipper feels that this World Cup has actually given him a chance to rediscover some of the other facets of ODI batting. “I’ve understood that roles can vary a lot in one day cricket depending on the time you step in to bat and I’ve been very happy holding one end and letting other guys express themselves striking at 150-160 and even 200,” he concluded.


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