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Kohli will do something special: Sachin

May 28, 2019 09:01 IST

'If we focus on doing the basics well and give our best in whatever we do, then we have a good chance of going through the semis.'
'After that, we need just two good days to win the World Cup.'

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli will lead from the front with the bat in the World Cup, believes Sachin Tendulkar. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

When it came to World Cups, there was no better than the legend Sachin Tendulkar!

The Little Master set the world alight with his brilliant batting displays in five of the six World Cups he appeared in.

He holds the record for most runs in World Cups with a tally of 2,278 runs across six tournaments.

No one has so far matched his record tally of 673 runs in 11 games in 2003 -- a record for the single edition of the World Cup.

The master batsman also holds the record for most centuries (6) and most fifties (15) in World Cup history.

One player who is likely to challenge Tendulkar's World Cup records is Virat Kohli.

Kohli, who started off with a century on his World Cup debut (100 not out vs Bangladesh in 2011), would no doubt be keen to leave his mark on the world's biggest stage.

He hit a match-wining hundred against Pakistan in the 2015 World Cup, but wasn't able to get past the half-century for the rest of the tournament.

Kohli, who has emerged as the leading batsman in world cricket, will deliver at this World Cup, believes Tendulkar.

"Virat has played some major roles in getting Team India to where it is today. He is fully geared up to do something special in this World Cup as well. And there is no better platform than the World Cup itself to make a big statement, so I am sure he would," Sachin tells Rediff.com's Harish Kotian.

 

A young Virat Kohli was your team-mate and part of India's World Cup-winning team in 2011. How much has he grown as a player in the last eight years?

When Virat played the 2011 World Cup, yes he was a youngster, but someone who wanted to learn and grasp as many things as possible. Over the years, he has been able to do so and did that convincingly.

Virat has played some major roles in getting Team India to where it is today.

He is fully geared up to do something special in this World Cup as well. And there is no better platform than the World Cup itself to make a big statement, so I am sure he would.

He has learnt a lot in the last nine years and I see him delivering what everyone is expecting.

You and Virender Sehwag played a crucial role in the 2011 World Cup. Do you expect Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma to make the same impact this time?

Rohit and Dhawan both have been a successful opening pair for India. They have played some critical innings and I see them delivering in England as well.

Sachin Tendulkar

IMAGE: Sachin Tendulkar is carried by his team-mates after winning the 2011 World Cup in Mumbai on April 21, 2011. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

How crucial a role will Hardik Pandya play as the all-rounder? You have seen him closely at the Mumbai Indians during the IPL where he played such amazing knocks.

These are two different formats. One is the T20 format and one is 50 overs where the field settings are different, the bowlers are thinking differently so I wouldn't want to get confused by these two different formats.

I would say whatever shots Hardik played in the IPL, they were all proper cricketing shots. It was not just slogging where you lose your balance, lose your shape and just smashing the ball. I thought he was very much in control when he played those shots.

If the situation arises I would back him to go out and play an innings which will have an impact on the game.

As far as his bowling is concerned, he is always going to be that supporting bowler for Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

In your first World Cup in 1992, the same format was used as will be seen in this World Cup wherein all the teams play against each other in the league stage. What are your views on the same?

I believe this is the best format for the World Cup.

I feel this is one format which still gives you a chance to come back.

Sometimes before you can blink the match is over, so if you have one bad day, you could find yourselves out of the tournament.

So it can be harsh and since this is the World Cup one would want to get another chance. Even if you have a bad day, then you have time to recover, and this format allows you to recover.

But this is a long format, so it will be important not only to keep your body fresh, but also your mind.

We always talk about physical fitness, but mental fitness is also important.

The teams will need to understand how much to practice, how to practice and when to practice.

Also, taking rest is important. To keep your mind fresh is also important.

I believe if we focus on doing the basics well and give our best in whatever we do, then we have a good chance of going through the semis.

After that, we need just two good days to win the World Cup.

How do you expect the conditions to be during the World Cup? Will spin play a part?

When we talk about the pitches during the World Cup, in the match against New Zealand it was a different pitch with a bit of grass covering on it.

I think the conditions were slightly in favour of the bowlers upfront. I think it just allowed a good game of cricket.

As we head into the summer of English cricket, the wickets will change, they will get little flatter. I also believe that the spinners will come into play much more.

HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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