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T20 World Cup 2024: Last Chance for Kohli and Rohit to End ICC Trophy Drought?

India and Sri Lanka will jointly host the next T20 World Cup in 2026, but Rohit would be over 40 and Kohli would be 38 by then.

By Agency News
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T20 World Cup 2024

T20 World Cup 2024: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are two cricketers who are so different from each other yet are intertwined by the same fate.

At the idyllic Belfast in 2007, Rohit was introduced to top-flight cricket, and Kohli a year later at the more conventional Dambulla.

This fascinating journey together could come to a close next month in the stunning Caribbean islands.

Last Chance for Kohli and Rohit to End ICC Trophy Drought?

India and Sri Lanka will jointly host the next T20 World Cup in 2026, but Rohit would be over 40 and Kohli would be 38 by then.

Due to the increasingly strike-rate-oriented nature of the game, it’s hard to imagine them playing in any of those.

It would be Rohit’s second winner’s medal after the 2007 T20 World Cup (Rohit) and Kohli’s second after the 2011 50-over showpiece (Kohli), should they achieve it next month.

Moreover, it will be the perfect send-off for two players who have had a significant impact on India’s white-ball fortunes.

Kohli-Rohit’s story is not one of bromance.

Their relationship is based more on mutual respect and a sense of not stepping on each other’s toes.

Throughout Kohli’s career, Rohit has been a source of admiration for him.

“I was filled with curiosity about a player. People kept on saying ‘This is one player who is rising rapidly’. I used to wonder that even though I am a young player, no one talks about me, then who is this player.

“But when he (Rohit) stepped out to bat, I was all quiet. It was amazing to watch him play. In fact, I haven’t seen a player time the ball better than him,” Kohli had said in ‘Breakfast With Champions’.

While their batting was a high art for the masses, they added a dash of modernity later on.

Kohli is the more versatile batter, who has adapted more fluently to the changing nature of cricket.

After Sachin Tendulkar’s halcyon days, a show of consistency like his has rarely been seen since.

Rohit has built his own edifices in white-ball cricket, but has remained a reluctant visitor to Test cricket’s elite corridors.

Later in his career, Rohit was able to detach himself a bit from his shackles by moving up to the opener’s position.

For now, Kohli and Rohit will have to rely on their vast experience in T20 cricket to propel India’s World Cup run.

If Rohit’s approach in last year’s World Cup and the just-concluded IPL is a sign, he will continue his selfless, aggressive style.

In this regard, Rohit enjoys an inherent advantage. His natural big-hitting ability will enable him to pursue his batsmanship without having to make many improvisations.

The one-legged pull of his is a cosy meeting place between elegance and malice.

Nevertheless, Kohli’s game is slightly different. He is capable of hitting those occasional big shots, such as a swat-flick six or a flat-bat smash over the bowlers head. Just look at his pick-up shot off Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf during the 2022 T20 World Cup.

In T20s, Kohli has struggled to score off spin, especially against left-handed bowlers. His career strike rate against slow bowlers hovers around mid-120s.

In the middle innings, it has obstructed his progress several times, but he appeared to have found a solution during this year’s IPL.

With the slog-sweep against spinners, Kohli was able to make 260 runs from 188 balls and struck 15 sixes.

Compared with his overall IPL strike-rate of 124, his strike-rate against spin touched 139.

“It was me mentally putting myself in that situation. I did not practice that at all,” he explained.

“I know I can hit it because I have played that shot a lot in the past. So, I just felt like I needed to take a bit more risk,” Kohli said of his new approach against spin.

He might benefit from this during the T20 World Cup when pitches are expected to slow down, making spinners more effective.

In addition to cricket, the two veterans’ final charge at an ICC trophy would be a captivating sight.

There will be a huge void after this duo leaves the stage, so for the fans, this World Cup will be about soaking it all in.

Also Read: ICC Releases Additional Tickets One Week Before T20 World Cup Begins

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