Virat Kohli`s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma on Saturday said the former India skipper`s recent form augurs well for the Men in Blue ahead of the forthcoming ODI World Cup. India takes on defending champions Sri Lanka in the high-voltage Asia Cup final at the R. Premadasa stadium on Sunday.
Against Pakistan, Kohli demonstrated his mettle in the cricket world by becoming the fastest batter to score 13,000 runs in the ODI format. He became the fifth player in the process to reach the landmark in men`s ODIs.
Rajkumar empathised that if the star batter is not scoring centuries that does not mean that he is out of form.
“Kohli is already in great form in the year 2023. There was a phase when he was not scoring big runs. It was not like he was out of form. He was scoring but the kind of expectations he carries that people thought that he is not in form. If he is not scoring centuries that does not mean that he is out of form but fortunately now he is playing well. His form augurs well for India,” Rajkumar Sharma told ANI.
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Talking about India`s match against Sri Lanka, Rajkumar said the Asia Cup title victory will play a “big psychological advantage” for the team in the upcoming ICC ODI World Cup 2023.
“It is a big match. The winner of the match will be the Asia Cup champion and it will be a big psychological advantage ahead of the World Cup. The preparation is good and it is good to beat all Asian teams before the World Cup. So, naturally, you will have the advantage. I am hopeful that India will do well,” Rajkumar added.
Predicted playing XIs
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumraj, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Washington Sundar (cover for injured Axar Patel)
Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (captain), Pathum Nissanaka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis (vc), Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Matheesha Pathirana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushan Hemantha, Binura Fernando, Pramod Madushan
(With agency inputs)
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