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Virat Kohli retaliates after Shastri-Pietersen’s on-air debate about his T20 World Cup spot: ‘I know my name is…’

Virat Kohli’s place in India’s T20 World Cup squad was discussed on-air by Shastri and Pietersen. The great batter sent out a message after leading RCB to win.

In a season where Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) fans were advised not to call him king, Virat Kohli lived up to his decade-old moniker to reign supreme over Shikhar Dhawan’s Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Monday. Gracing the iconic M.Chinnaswamy Stadium for Bengaluru’s first home game of the new season, the batting icon dished out another batting masterclass in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to silence his critics.

Shastri and Pietersen discussed Kohli’s T20 future on-air during the IPL 2024 match between GT and MI(ANI-BCCI-AP)

A day before Kohli fashioned RCB’s impressive four-wicket win with help from veteran Dinesh Karthik, former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri and ex-England skipper Kevin Pietersen had an intense discussion about Team India’s squad for the ICC T20 World Cup. While Rohit Sharma is confirmed to lead India at the next T20 World Cup, not much has been said about Kohli’s candidature. Before making a sensational comeback at the house of RCB, the former India skipper skipped the entire England Test series due to personal reasons.

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ALSO READ: Virat Kohli fan breaches security, clings on to him and touches feet before being chucked out in RCB vs PBKS IPL tie

What Pietersen said about Kohli

Pietersen gave Kohli an honourable mention when the Englishman was on air with Shastri in Mumbai Indians’ blockbuster clash with Gujarat Titans (GT) at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. Pietersen argued that the T20 World Cup will need Kohli as a flagbearer of the sport in the United States. “The World Cup is happening in the USA. India are playing Pakistan in New York. You’d want someone like a Virat Kohli to help the game grow,” Pietersen said.

Shastri’s on-air counter

Issuing a noteworthy reaction, co-commentator Shastri namedropped MS Dhoni and reminded Pietersen that India lifted the famous trophy with a young side back in 2007. “It’s not about growing the game, it’s about winning the competition. The game will grow wherever it needs to grow. What I’m trying to say is no baggage. And India won in 2007 T20 World Cup with a young side. You want youth. You want flamboyance. You want that dash,” Shastri observed.

‘I know my name is now attached to promoting T20s…’: Kohli

Sending out a loud message with his breathtaking knock, Kohli demolished the formidable bowling attack of the Punjab Kings at Bengaluru. Putting up a show for the hosts, Kohli played a stroke-filled knock of 77 off 49 balls. The 35-year-old creamed 11 fours and smoked two sixes in his entertaining knock. Collecting the Player of the Match trophy at the post-game presentation, Kohli made it clear that he was not here just to promote the shortest format. “I know my name is now attached to just promoting the game in different parts of the world when it comes to T20 cricket. I’ve still got it I guess,” Kohli said with a smile.

Kohli is in for the cup, not for the cap

The RCB superstar has climbed to the top spot on the IPL 2024 Orange Cap table after slamming his first half-century of the new season. However, Kohli is not after just caps this season. The former RCB skipper wants to end the long-standing title drought of the Bengaluru giants at the IPL. “I don’t play for these Caps anymore. That’s the promise I can give here — I’ll keep turning up and keep trying me best,” the former RCB skipper continued.

Did you know?

Kohli reached his 100th fifty-plus score in the shortest format during RCB’s clash with PBKS. Reprieved on zero by Jonny Bairstow, Kohli completed his 51st half-century in 31 balls. The batting maestro is the first Indian with a century of 50-plus scores in T20s. Kohli is placed third and the ex-India skipper is only behind Chris Gayle (110) and David Warner (109) in the exclusive club.

Kohli was dismissed by his former RCB teammate Harshal Patel in the 15th over. “I try to give the team a blazing start, but if wickets fall, you have to assess. Wasn’t the usual flat pitch. Disappointed I couldn’t finish the game. The ball was in the slot but sliced it to deep point. They know I play the cover drive well, so they’re not going to allow me to hit gaps. You have to come up with a game plan here and there,” Kohli added.


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