Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen said that he wants Virat Kohli to have a day off against England in the T20 World Cup semifinal at Adelaide Oval. The veteran England batter shares a great camaraderie with Kohli as the duo played together for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the past.
The 34-year-old Indian batter was going through a lean patch with the bat earlier this year but he found his groove back in the Asia Cup and the bilateral series against Australia and South Africa which were tune-up for Team India for the T20 World Cup.
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Kohli followed his good form with the bat as he smashed three half-centuries in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup. Kohli has always loved scoring in Australia and he continues the trend and returned to his best version in India’s opening match against Pakistan where he smashed an unbeaten 82 runs to help the Men in Blue register a crucial win. He scored crucial half-centuries against Netherlands and Bangladesh and ended the Super 12 stage as the leading run-getter.
India will face England in the semifinal of the mega ICC event at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
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Pietersen said talked highly of the Indian batting maverick and said he backed him during his rough patch but wants him to have a day off against Jos Buttler and Co. on Thursday.
“I backed Kohli throughout the little loss of form that he had, and he’s had a lot to deal with. He is an entertainer, he needs crowds, he needs that buzz, he needs that excitement. He didn’t have that for a few years, and he lost his way. But the crowds are in, it’s a T20 World Cup in Australia – one of the greatest places to play T20 cricket – and the King is back. As a close friend, I’m very happy for him, but I just need Virat to have a day off," Pietersen wrote in his blog for Betway.
The former English skipper also pointed out that the return of Kohli’s form has also helped players like Suryakumar Yadav to play with more freedom.
“It’s just so good to see the greatest current player back in the runs, not only from India’s perspective, but for the world of cricket. For India, he’s such a major component for them to start seeing some consistency. When Virat plays well, the other players start to perform around him. You saw that with Suryakumar Yadav and the innings he played against Zimbabwe; it was just spectacular. When your talisman is back, it helps massively," added the England legend.
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