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‘Virat Kohli’s aggressive style of batting often…’: Shikhar Dhawan’s honest take on ex-India skipper

Shikhar Dhawan last played for Team India in 2022. Virat Kohli recently made his return to T20I format in the 2nd T20I against Afghanistan.

Focusing on the intent, former India skipper Virat Kohli marked his return to T20I cricket with a quick-fire knock against Afghanistan in the series decider on Sunday. Unavailable for the series opener due to personal reasons, Kohli played his first T20I game for Rohit Sharma and Co. since the 2022 edition of the World Cup. At a time when Kohli has returned to the T20I fold in the World Cup year, veteran Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan opened up about the camaraderie he shared with Kohli at Team India.

Dhawan shared his views about Kohli’s batting style (PTI-AP)

Dhawan last played an international game for Rohit’s men against Bangladesh at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in 2022. The veteran opener will aim to raise his T20 stocks in the forthcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Dhawan will lead the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the 2024 season of the world’s richest tournament. One of the finest left-handed batters in the limited-overs format, Dhawan has played for India under three skippers – Rohit, Kohli and MS Dhoni.

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What Dhawan said about Kohli

Speaking to the Times of India, Dhawan credited Kohli, as the leader of the Indian team, for cultivating a youthful and energetic team environment. “He encourages young talents and is willing to back them, providing opportunities for them to flourish. Kohli places a strong emphasis on fitness and conditioning. This focus on physical fitness has become a key aspect of the team culture under his captaincy. Kohli leads from the front with his performances. His aggressive style of batting often sets the tone for the team, and he expects a similar level of intensity from his players,” Dhawan said.

How Kohli returned to T20I format

Kohli scored 29 off 16 balls as India’s No.3 batter in the 2nd T20I against Afghanistan on Sunday in Indore. The 35-year-old smashed five fours in his crucial knock. Kohli was dismissed inside the opening powerplay, although India cruised to a comfortable six-wicket win over Afghanistan at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. Kohli and Rohit have recently returned to India’s T20I squad for the Afghanistan series. The three-match series is India’s last T20I assignment before the ICC World T20 in the 2024 season.

‘Dhoni known for his effective man-management skills’

During the same interaction, Dhawan recalled playing under the leadership of former India skipper MS Dhoni. Former India skipper Dhoni will lead Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the IPL 2024. Dhoni was retained by CSK after the Ranchi stalwart propelled Chennai to their fifth IPL crown last season. Indian southpaw Dhawan also spoke at length about Dhoni’s calm and composed demeanour. “This cool-headed approach has been a hallmark of his captaincy. Dhoni bhai is often praised for his instinctive decision-making. He trusts his cricketing instincts and has a knack for making the right calls, particularly in pressure situations. Dhoni bhai is known for his effective man-management skills,” he added.


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