It is no surprise to see Virat Kohli working dedicatedly in the nets with the bat in hand. On the eve of the Mohali T20I between India and Australia, though, the experienced batter was seen bowling medium pacers during practice as his teammates watched on in curiosity.
Kohli will head into the T20I series against Australia on a high, following a stupendous Asia Cup 2022 campaign. Making a comeback to international cricket after skipping the white ball tours of West Indies and Zimbabwe, the 33-year-old hammered 276 runs in five matches at an average of 92.
During the tournament in the UAE, he also registered his first hundred since November 2019.
On Monday, the Twitter handle of the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) shared pictures of Kohli bowling in the nets. The images were posted with a witty caption, which read:
“Look who’s opening bowling tomorrow #IndvsAus @imVkohli.”
The former India captain rarely bowls in international cricket. He, however, did send down an over during the Asia Cup match against Hong Kong in Dubai.
The part-time medium-pacer gave away six runs without picking up a wicket.
While the 33-year-old does not have a Test wicket to his name yet, he has claimed four scalps each in ODIs and T20Is respectively.
“It’ll take a very brave man to write off Virat Kohli” - Aaron Finch
Ahead of the India-Australia T20I series, Aussie skipper Aaron Finch hailed Kohli and said that the batter remains a threat to opponents and cannot be written off. Speaking ahead of the first T20I in Mohali, Finch commented:
“It will be a very brave man to write Virat Kohli off. At any stage, he has shown for 15 years now that he is one of the greatest players of all time.
“Particularly in T20 cricket, he’s someone who has developed and grown his game over such a long period that you always plan and prepare the best when you’re coming up against him. He is super and has 71 international centuries. That’s just ridiculous,” he added.
In the wake of his hundred against Afghanistan while opening the innings, a debate has begun over whether he should continue to bat at the top with skipper Rohit Sharma.
At the pre-series press conference, Rohit clarified that Kohli is an opening option for the T20 World Cup, but KL Rahul remains the first choice.