Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feels batting stalwart Virat Kohli is growing in confidence since the time he has made his comeback to the side following his self-imposed month-long break from the game due to a string of poor scores and declining form.
The cricketer-turned-analyst said he could see Kohli's power game returning, adding that the veteran batter was backing his skills.
Kohli, following his fine batting display in the recently concluded Asia Cup in the UAE where he also scored his maiden T20I century and his match- and series-winning 63 in the third and final T20I against Australia in Hyderabad, has been in sublime form ever since his comeback, and Manjrekar feels it augurs well for Indian with the T20 World Cup next month in Australia.
"See, right from the Asia Cup (in UAE) every match that he got runs, not just the runs, there was some improvement coming. I think the power game is back; he is trusting his power game. There was a time when he was getting runs but his power game was not coming at his beck and call; that is starting to happen," opined Manjrekar on Sports18's show 'Sports Over The Top'.
High on self-belief
"He's dispatching good balls for big boundaries and sixes. It's all about confidence, this is a guy who's damn self-confident and drives himself to excellence but for a long time runs weren't coming and his confidence was tender. But during the Asia Cup, slowly and steadily, certain things start to happen, the pull shots came in, and the sixes started going more into the stands than just going over the rope as it was going in the IPL.
"So, the pieces (are) falling back into the frame. Now it's all about putting all these kinds of performances in the main event (T20 World Cup)," added Manjrekar.
Manjrekar further gave his take on what went wrong for seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel in the India-Australia series. He felt Bhuvi, the most experienced pacer in the India side right now, was playing too much cricket for his good.
"With Bhuvneshwar Kumar, it's never a very simple answer but you've got to give one of the simple answers and one of the main reasons why Bhuvi seems to be off the boil -- is playing too much cricket. In the sense, that he's played all the matches coming into this series as well. The Bhuvneshwar Kumar I have seen over the years, he's not one of the strongest guys going around, he's not somebody who takes a lot of workload, he plays one format and hardly any other.
"He's somebody if you notice, barring injury, if he comes later a break to play in any tournament, he's at his best in the first few games. So, I'm going to put down Bhuvneshwar Kumar's current performance to just match fatigue. Harshal Patel has limitations as a seam bowler, but India must look as one of the third seaming options and must look at a couple of others as options and I keep stressing on Mohammed Shami as the other option," added Manjrekar.
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