Brian Lara's Cautionary Advice to Rohit and Kohli before match against Afghanistan
Brian Lara's Cautionary Advice to Rohit and Kohli before match against Afghanistan

Patna: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are set to lead India's batting lineup against Afghanistan in the upcoming Super 8 fixture of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 on Thursday. After finishing at the top of Group A in the US leg of the tournament, the Indian team, led by Rohit, has arrived in Barbados for the crucial stages of the competition. Legendary West Indies cricketer Brian Lara believes that either Kohli or Rohit can anchor the innings on the Caribbean pitches.

In the T20 World Cup opener against Ireland, Rohit and Kohli managed only seven runs for the first wicket. Kohli was dismissed for one run off five balls, while Rohit scored a commanding 52 off 37 balls, securing a win for the 2007 world champions. However, Kohli scored only four runs off three balls in the high-stakes match against Pakistan, and Rohit had a disappointing performance, scoring just 13 runs against Babar Azam's team. In the Group A decider against the USA, Kohli was dismissed for a golden duck by Saurabh Netravalkar, and Rohit continued his low-scoring streak with three runs off six balls.

Speaking to Star Sports before India's next match against Afghanistan, Brian Lara acknowledged the aggressive nature of both Kohli and Rohit. Lara emphasized the importance of strategic batting partnerships on the Caribbean pitches. "I think there is all sorts of possibilities. They are two very aggressive players. They're two world-class players. But sometimes, in terms of putting together a partnership in the Caribbean, you think well, you know 60-70 runs in the powerplay would be a great start. I think one could afford to drop anchor, but it all depends, you know, on match-ups. If you feel that, as a batter, that you are better equipped than the other player to do well against a bowler, then you do that. So I think it's a conversation that has to happen in the middle, and it doesn't necessarily mean that they have to go from both ends," Lara said.

Lara believes that the performance of Rohit and Kohli will be crucial for India on the Caribbean pitches. He highlighted that India has been playing well, entering the Super 8 phase without losing a match. Lara also advised Rohit and Kohli to avoid aggressive batting early in the innings. "But you know, I think psychologically they would know how important both of these players coming into form quickly is for that. So, there are different ways of going about it. I don't feel blasting away in the Caribbean is one of the things you know. You just need to think about what you're doing and put a good partnership on because you know more often than not when you're playing Afghanistan than you're thinking, When are the spinners coming? Then the contest begins," Lara added.

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