'Virat Kohli will say, you brought me down...': Ravichandran Ashwin gives explosive take on India's top-order conundrum

June 20,2024

One, four and zero - the story so far for Virat Kohli as India's best batter across all formats is yet to announce his arrival at the grandest stage of them all - the ICC T20 World Cup. Nicknamed the chasemaster, Kohli is still chasing multiple records at the T20 World Cup. A run-fest season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 sanctioned his return as an opener at the World Cup.

Unfortunately for run-machine Kohli, a record-setting season in IPL was followed by a string of low scores at the T20 World Cup. With Kohli facing heat for his mini-dry run in the ICC event, veteran Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin roped in former India batter Robin Uthappa to preview the next assignment of the batting icon. Kohli-starrer India will cross swords with Afghanistan in its first Super 8 fixture of the T20 World Cup.

‘No chance for player like Virat Kohli to damage his confidence’

Since Kohli has struggled to score runs as an opener, India can tweak its lineup by promoting Rishabh Pant, or the Asian giants can add Yashasvi Jaiswal to the starting XI against Afghanistan. In both scenarios, Kohli will take up his much-preferred No.3 batting slot. "There is no chance for a player like Virat Kohli to damage his confidence. He will say, 'you brought me down to number 3, I will show you who I am.'. That's how he will bat, first of all. I am saying this because I know him," Ashwin said on YouTube.

Kohli smashed 741 runs in the 2024 edition of the IPL. The 35-year-old has only added five more runs to his impressive T20I run tally at the T20 World Cup. The batting icon notched up his first-ever golden duck at the T20 World Cup in his last outing. Kohli also trailed Pakistan’s Babar Azam, who became the all-time leading run-getter at the T20 World Cup. The former India skipper needs 104 runs to reclaim the top spot in the T20I list of the leading run-scorers.

'When you see his physiology…'

"Virat Kohli's physiology, after the previous match, I saw a glimpse of it. Maybe five seconds. Him interacting with some of the players and talking to the support staff. When you see his physiology, you can tell that man is exuding supreme confidence. And that comes from a place of knowing about his own game and the confidence in his own ability. So, he knows that this is just a blip in the radar," Uthappa added.