T20 World Cup: 'Won't Be Surprised If Virat Kohli Is Player Of The Tournament', Predicts Ex-India Cricketer Jatin Paranjape

T20 World Cup: 'Won't Be Surprised If Virat Kohli Is Player Of The Tournament', Predicts Ex-India Cricketer Jatin Paranjape

The 35-year-old could be India's main player around whom the others will bat to take the innings forward, feels Jatin Paranjape.

Rohan SenUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2024, 04:44 PM IST
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Former India cricketer Jatin Paranjape has backed Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya to have a "great tournament" with bat and ball in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

Kohli, who finished as the highest run-scorer in the recently-concluded IPL 2024, will once again have the weight of expectations on his shoulders from Indian fans when he takes the field in New York next week.

King Kohli set to be India's main weapon again

The 35-year-old could be India's main player around whom the others will bat to take the innings forward, feels Paranjape.

"Virat Kohli will be the fulcrum around whom the others will bat. I won't be surprised if he finishes as the Player of the Tournament in the World Cup," the 52-year-old former BCCI selector told the Free Press Journal.

Notably, Kohli is the only cricketer to be named Player of the Tournament in T20 World Cups twice in history. He was on top of the run charts in 2014, 2016 and 2022 but despite his prolific run, the Indian team could not lift the trophy.

Hardik Pandya an important cog in India's wheel

Another player that Paranjape is backing is all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been under fire for his lack of form with the bat and his poor captaincy for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024.

"I think it's a terrific selection. I feel Pandya will have a great tournament," Jatin added.

Under fire but still very important

Pandya hasn't had the ideal preparation for the tournament, having scored just 216 runs from 14 T20s at an average of 18 with 46 being his highest score. But more than his batting, it's his bowling that will be crucial for the Men in Blue as Paranjape feels he will be India's third pacer after Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh.

"I think India will go in with two lead bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh with Pandya as the third fast-bowling option. Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja will be the two specialist spinners in the playing XI, at least for the first few games," Paranjape said.

India will begin their campaign against Ireland on June 4 before facing Pakistan, USA and Canada in Group A on June 9, 12 and 15 respectively. The 2007 champions will play off their group games in New York. All India matches will start at 8pm IST.

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