Virat Kohli: India player a ‘genius with the bat’, says Kapil Dev

Virat Kohli: India player a ‘genius with the bat’, says Kapil Dev
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Indian commentator Prakash Wakankar says Kohli can take over the retired Sachin Tendulkar’s status in the team.

Virat Kohli has been hailed a “genius with the bat” after his superb innings helped India beat Australia to reach the semi-finals of the World Twenty20.

The hosts needed 20 from the last two overs but Kohli struck four boundaries to reach 82 not out from 51 balls, as captain MS Dhoni hit the winning runs.

“Hats off to this genius with a bat,” said India legend Kapil Dev.

Indian commentator Prakash Wakankar says Kohli can take over the retired Sachin Tendulkar’s status in the team.

Right-handed batsman Kohli is becoming a master of the run chase, averaging 91.80 when India bat second in T20 internationals.

His 184 runs in four matches make him third highest scorer in the tournament so far with an average of 92.

“Virat is becoming the youngest senior statesman for India,” Wakankar told BBC Sport. “He is holding the team together, his bravado is speaking through his bat and not his actions, and he seems to be in complete control.

“He is in a zone and can’t do anything wrong.

“Virat is a phenomenon in the making as long as he learns from his idol Sachin Tendulkar how to handle the pressure and stay in his own space. He may well be the man who people can look upon as a worthy successor.”

India face the West Indies in the semi-final in Mumbai on Thursday at 14:30 BST.

Dev – widely regarded as India’s greatest ever fast bowler – took 434 Test wickets and 253 in one day internationals.

“I have always believed that T20 cricket is not just about slamming the ball or indulging in ambitious shots,” he said.

“You can play your normal cricket strokes and win your battles against the bowlers. Virat’s exhibition proved it.” BBC

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