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T20 World Cup: Kaif backs Kohli ahead of final against SA, says ‘even Dhoni didn’t have a great run in 2011’

New Delhi, June 29 2024-

Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has expressed his belief that Virat Kohli is poised to deliver a heroic performance, akin to that of MS Dhoni in the 2011 ODI World Cup final, against South Africa at Barbados.

Kaif drew a parallel between Kohli’s current form and Dhoni’s journey in the 2011 World Cup. He reminded fans that Dhoni, despite not having an exceptional tournament, rose to the occasion in the final against Sri Lanka, scoring an unbeaten 91* and sealing the victory with an iconic six over long-on. Kaif suggested that Kohli, who has not yet had a standout performance in this tournament, has the potential to emulate Dhoni’s heroics.

“Virat Kohli needs to remember that even Dhoni didn’t have a great World Cup in 2011, but he found form in the final. He is too good a player to slog; he can play ball on merit and dominate any bowling attack,” Kaif said in a video posted on ‘X’. “Dhoni’s six over long-on off Kulasekara is etched in everybody’s mind. That’s why I think Virat Kohli has a great chance to become a hero.”

Kohli, who has been crucial for India in past ICC events, has yet to shine in this tournament. However, Kaif reminded him of his brilliant century against South Africa at Eden Gardens in the ODI World Cup, encouraging Kohli to take confidence from that innings.

“He must forget that he is in poor form. He had hit a century when India last played South Africa in the ODI World Cup at Eden Gardens. He was brilliant that day and played very well, but he wasn’t slogging that day but was playing the ball on merit with proper cricket shots.”

India’s journey to the final has been impressive, with an unbeaten run leading up to the summit clash. The team, which has not won a major ICC title in 11 years, is determined to end their title drought. (Agency)

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