Having seen him bowl in India’s second warm-up game on Wednesday (October 18), former wicketkeeper turned commentator, Deep Dasgupta, reckons that skipper Virat Kohli should treat himself as a genuine sixth bowling option during the T20 World Cup 2021.
Dasgupta feels with allrounder Hardik Pandya not certain to bowl, Kohli could prove to be a useful fill-up bowler, provided he gets the timing of his overs right. The ex cricketer thinks it would be wise for the Indian captain to bring himself on just after the powerplay and before the beginning of the death overs.
In specific detail, he interestingly said Kohli should push himself to bowl 2 overs – at least half the quota of Hardik – and bowl those in the 7th and the 13th over of the innings.
Deep Dasgupta urges Virat Kohli to bowl throughout the T20 World Cup
“Virat Kohli’s bowling could be an option if needed, if you’re thinking outside the box. Virat Kohli himself must be careful as to when he introduces himself into the attack like in the 7th or the 13th over. Generally, if you look at the statistics, these two overs do not go for many runs,” Dasgupta said over his Youtube channel.
Further on his channel, Dasgupta ruled out the option of Shardul Thakur batting No.7 in place of Hardik Pandya if the latter continues to not bowl. With Hardik still to completely recover from his back surgery and unable to bowl at a time when he is also not enjoying the best of returns with the bat, there have been suggestions to sack him and promote Thakur up the order.
But the former wicketkeeper reckons No.7 is a spot too high for Thakur, even though he has shown encouraging batting abilities in the recent past. Given India’s squad, Ravindra Jadeja is expected to hold the No.7 spot.
“Shardul Thakur according to me, is more suited to batting at No.8 but No.7 might be one step ahead for him. If India are going with 5 bowlers, I think 3 of them should be pacers. It gives the side a lot more flexibility while using Chakravarthy and Bumrah’s overs,” Dasgupta said.
Coming back to Virat Kohli, the out-going Indian T20I skipper bowled two overs for 12 in the warm-up game against Australia. Overall in his T20I career, the great batter has rolled his arm over for only 146 deliveries over 12 innings (just over 2 overs per innings) while giving away a decent 8.13 runs per over.
When he gets his radar right, Kohli, with his unorthodox bowling action that imparts a lot of back spin on the ball, is capable of confusing the batter and sneak through a couple of important tight overs.