Kohli Is The Man, Hussey Expects Star Batsman To Play Key Role In WTC Final

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Sun 28 May 2023, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 May 2023, 9:01 PM

Australian batting legend Michael Hussey believes India's star batter Virat Kohli would be a key player in the ICC World Test Championship final against Australia.

The WTC final between the two top teams will start on June seven at The Oval, London.

This will be India's second straight WTC final appearance, having lost the inaugural final to New Zealand in 2021 under Kohli's captaincy.

Kohli is no longer the Indian captain, but more importantly he is now back to his best form with the bat again.

Having ended his near three-year century drought, Kohli has regained his touch, scoring 1,442 runs with five hundreds (three in ODIs, one in T20Is and one in Tests) in 30 international matches at a highly impressive average of 53.40.

Despite his latest IPL heartbreak with the Royal Challengers Bangalore which failed to qualify for the playoffs, Kohli enjoyed a splendid run with the bat in the 2023 edition of the cash-rich league.

The Indian batting superstar made 639 runs from 14 matches, including two hundreds, in this season of the IPL.

With Kohli back in his top form, Hussey expects the 34-year-old Indian batsman to play a big role in the WTC final against Australia

"It's hard to see past Virat Kohli," Hussey was quoted as saying by ICC.

He further said that the two pillars of Indian cricket, Kohli and skipper Rohit Sharma, will be expected to do well in the final against Australia.

"He (Kohli) is obviously coming back into some great form again in all forms of the game really, so both he and Rohit Sharma with the bat are going to be important for India," the former Australian cricketer added.

Hussey thinks Kohli and Rohit must use their vast experience of batting in England to their advantage if India is to prevail against Australia.

India regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-1 victory over Australia in the four-match Test series in spin-friendly conditions at home early this year.

But Hussey knows conditions will be vastly different in London where fast bowlers are expected to get a lot of help from the surface than the spinners.

Hussey thinks India's pacers can also make a difference at The Oval, but knows Australia's plethora of quality pacers - that includes skipper Pat Cummins and experienced left-armer Mitchell Starc - will prove difficult to handle.

"It is going to be played in England, so English conditions will be different to the recent series in India, so I think the fast bowlers are going to be important," Hussey said.

"Pat Cummins (is a key for Australia) and Josh Hazlewood might be fit again which would be nice for Australia.

"But India have got so many great bowlers as well. You've got (Mohammed) Siraj and (Mohammed) Shami and obviously the spinners with (Ravindra) Jadeja and (Ravichandran) Ashwin as well.

"It's a world-class attack and the Aussies are going to have to be at their best to beat them."

And when asked to pick a winner of the contest between two great teams, a diplomatic Hussey said he was hoping for a good contest.

"I just want to see two great teams go head-to-head and see who comes out on top," Hussey said.

"We just want to see good, hard, fair cricket and whoever comes out on top deserves to. And it should be a fantastic match."


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