Steve Smith voiced support for Virat Kohli’s inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad, citing Kohli’s ability to play situationally and deliver match-winning performances.

Recent reports suggested uncertainty surrounding Virat Kohli’s inclusion in India’s squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup. Despite concerns over his strike rate, former Australian captain Steve Smith advocated for Kohli’s selection, emphasizing his ability to adapt to match situations. Kohli’s IPL strike rates in recent years have varied, but his performance in the previous season showcased an improved strike rate of 139.82.

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Smith, acknowledging Kohli’s match-winning abilities, believes his presence in the squad is crucial for navigating different pitch conditions. He lauded Kohli’s knack for delivering masterclass innings, both for Royal Challengers Bangalore and the national team, highlighting his impact in steering matches to victory.

“He plays the situation. Some wickets you play on, your strike rate doesn’t need to be high. We’ve seen Virat play some masterclass innings and get his team over the line, whether it is for RCB or for India. I’ve been in the opposition and he has done it against us on numerous occasions,” Smith said while speaking on Star Sports.

Kohli’s ability to perform under pressure has been well-documented, a quality Smith believes is crucial in tournaments like World Cups.

“He (Kohli) plays extremely well under pressure. He loves that. It is such players that you want in your team when you go to the World Cup and face pressure situations. You want the experienced players who stand up in those situations and Virat is certainly one of those,” Smith added.

Despite fluctuations in his IPL strike rates from 2020 to 2022, Kohli maintained a commendable strike rate of 137.64 in international T20 cricket during the same period. RCB will commence their campaign against Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on March 22.

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Last Updated on March 20, 2024

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