It’s no surprise that one of the biggest names in world cricket, Virat Kohli, will have all eyes on him during an international assignment. But the upcoming T20I series against Australia, which commences on Tuesday, September 20, will be particularly significant for the former Indian skipper.
Fresh off his long-awaited 71st international hundred, Kohli seems to be in an excellent frame of mind. Doubts were cast over his place in the T20I side, but he appears ready to set another T20 World Cup on fire. Moreover, Team India will be under the scanner following a disappointing Asia Cup in which they crashed out in the Super 4 stage.
Here are three reasons why Virat Kohli will have all eyes on him during the T20I series against Australia.
#3 Virat Kohli will bat at No. 3 against Australia
India v Hong Kong – DP World Asia Cup
There’s no doubt that Virat Kohli’s best position in T20 cricket is at the top of the order. He plundered 973 runs in a single Indian Premier League season for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and even recently blasted a hundred against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup.
But India skipper Rohit Sharma has claimed that he will open the batting alongside KL Rahul, leaving Kohli to bat at No. 3. Of course, Kohli has batted at the position for the majority of his T20I career, but his game in the middle overs has deteriorated over the last few years.
That showed signs of improvement in the Asia Cup, where Kohli was proactive against the spinners and displayed clear intent throughout. But can he keep that going against canny operators like Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, who are negative match-ups for him on paper? India need their main man to succeed at No. 3, and this is something to keep a close eye on.
#2 Australia is one of Kohli’s favorite oppositions
Virat Kohli loves playing against Australia
Virat Kohli holds a mountain of records against Australia in T20I cricket. He has the most runs, the highest individual score, the highest average, the most half-centuries, the most sixes and the most runs in a bilateral series. To put it simply, the 33-year-old loves playing against the Kangaroos.
Needless to say, Kohli’s performances against one of his favorite oppositions will be closely watched, especially since he’s at home. Australia might be without Mitchell Starc, but there are a number of bowlers who could trouble the star Indian batter. The two teams will be charged up, and that brings the best out of Kohli.
#1 Virat Kohli will need to build on the Asia Cup
India v Pakistan – DP World Asia Cup
Virat Kohli’s stunning maiden T20I century is still fresh in memory, as is his prolific Asia Cup 2022 campaign. Ending up as the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament, Kohli made heads turn with his return to runs.
He will need to prove that the continental tournament wasn’t a flash in the pan, that the world-beater who took international cricket by storm is well and truly back.
India and their fans can’t have any doubts regarding Kohli while entering the T20 World Cup, and the upcoming series against Australia therefore holds immense importance.