Former India captain Sourav Ganguly disagreed with Shoaib Akhtar’s suggestion that Virat Kohli should give up white-ball cricket after the 2023 ODI World Cup and focus on Tests to match Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 international hundreds. Can break Ganguly replied that Kohli should play whatever cricket he wants to play. Virat Kohli completed 15 years in international cricket on Friday. Since making his debut in 2008, he has represented India in 111 Tests, 275 ODIs and 115 T20Is.
While the 34-year-old remains a key member of the Test and ODI formats, he has not played any T20Is since India’s defeat to England in the 2022 T20 World Cup semi-finals. Recently speaking to Revsportz, Akhtar made an interesting suggestion about Kohli’s international future after the ODI World Cup in India. He gave his opinion on the show ‘Backstage with Boria’:
“I don’t think he should play more 50-overs matches after this World Cup. Also, if you see him in T20s, it takes a lot out of him. I think he should play for at least six more years and break the 100 hundreds record of Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli has it in him to break the record. He should focus on Test cricket after this World Cup, and break this record.”
Asked for his views on the former Pakistan fast bowler’s statement, Sourav Ganguly dismissed it on the sidelines of an event in Denver, saying:
“Why? Virat Kohli should play whatever cricket he wants to play. Because he performs.”
Virat Kohli was part of the Indian team during the Test and ODI series in the West Indies. He scored his first overseas Test century in nearly five years in the Second Test at Port of Spain, Trinidad.
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“I See Tilak Varma as An Option” – Ganguly On No. 4 Quandary
India has been struggling for a number 4 batsman in ODI cricket ever since Yuvraj Singh’s exit from the international scene. Shreyas Iyer has been the team’s most successful batsman at the key position in recent times but there is uncertainty over his availability due to injury. However, Ganguly backed youngster Tilak Verma for the Asia Cup in case Shreyas did not recover in time.
The former Indian captain said:
“Who said we don’t have a No. 4? We have so many (batsmen) who can bat at that spot. I think differently; my mindset is different. This is a fantastic side. I see Tilak Varma as an option, being a left-hander.”
He also Said:
“He (Tilak) is a very good young player, not with much experience, but it does not matter. I also want to see the young left-hander (Yashasvi Jaiswal) in the side at the top of the order. He has enormous ability and he’s fearless. So, this is a great side,”
Both Tilak Verma and Yashasavi Jaiswal made impressive international debuts during the recently concluded West Indies tour