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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Kohli dons bowler’s hat in warm-up match against Australia

Kohli used to bowl his bit part medium pace in the middle-overs under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. But after becoming India captain in all formats, he sort of went into an elongated bowling hiatus.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: October 26, 2021 3:20:12 pm
virat kohliVirat Kohli confirmed that he is available for SA ODI series.

The T20 World Cup warm-up match between India and Australia will be remembered, among other things, as the day when Virat Kohli broke his 4-year bowling hiatus in limited-overs cricket.

Kohli bowling in limited-overs cricket after four years was significant. He used to bowl his bit part medium pace in the middle-overs under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. But after becoming India captain in all formats, Kohli sort of went into an elongated bowling hiatus. He bowled two overs against Australia for 12 runs. On the face of it, a lack of sixth bowling option prompted the experiment. But the direction could well have come from the mentor. Dhoni always trusted Kohli to bowl a few overs in the middle.

Captaining the side with Kohli only taking the field to bowl, Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner K L Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.
Kohli kept things tight with two overs of medium pace but to expect him to do the job in high-pressure scenarios would be asking for too much from him.

The batting department looks more or less settled and the five specialist bowlers also inspire confidence but the same can’t be said about the extra bowling option with Hardik not bringing his all-round skills to the table at the moment.

“Hardik is coming along pretty well, but it’ll be a while before he will start to bowl. He hasn’t started bowling, but he should be ready by the start of the tournament,” said Rohit at the toss for the warm-up match against Australia.

The team management is hoping he will be ready to bowl during India’s World Cup campaign which begins with the marquee clash against Pakistan on Sunday.

(With PTI inputs)

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