Cricket

Kohli sees himself in Shreyas

Showing his potential: Shreyas Iyer’s knocks against the West Indies have elicited wholesome praise from captain Kohli.

Showing his potential: Shreyas Iyer’s knocks against the West Indies have elicited wholesome praise from captain Kohli.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Says the youngster can be a regular in the middle-order

Shreyas Iyer’s superb form in the ODI series here has impressed India captain Virat Kohli who has said the Mumbai batsman can be a “regular feature in middle-order” if he continues taking responsibility like he did during this contest.

Kohli had partnerships of 125 and 120 with Shreyas in the second and third ODIs in tricky situations.

Cool customer

“Both times he was not intimidated at all, he was very confident, very sure of his game. At no stage he looked like getting out, that is great to see,” Kohli said on Wednesday.

“He has suddenly presented a role for himself, coming in and playing according to the situation. Hopefully he builds on this... he can be a strong contender and a regular feature in the middle order,” the captain said.

“We were under a bit of pressure but his knock was the game-changer. I think Shreyas took the pressure off me and I could just play at my usual tempo and control the game from one end,” said Kohli.

The 30-year-old Kohli said Shreyas reminded him of his own early days in the India side.

“I was exactly the same when I came in — any opportunity I got I wanted to win games for my team and play according to the situation and you have to take risks. He was brave under pressure. You need to reveal your game to realise who you are, what your game is and what kind of a player you are,” Kohli said.

“Shikhar and Rohit have been brilliant performers, one of them usually gets a big score, but if they don’t then it’s my responsibility to get a big score. That’s how we played and why we have been successful — 75% win percentage in last three-four years,” he said.

Talking about the third ODI here, Kohli conceded his team was nervous when Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis had raced to 114 in the first 10 overs.

Dangerous rivals

“When Chris and Lewis play like that you know why they are rated as two of the most dangerous players in the world, especially in white-ball cricket.

“We tried literally everything and bowled every ball possible, but they were just absolutely brutal, that was tremendous batting from both of them,” the India captain concluded.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 10:14:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/kohli-sees-himself-in-shreyas/article29103458.ece

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