Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma endured a torrid time in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. While the right-hander managed just 2 and 19 in the games against New Zealand and Bangladesh, Dhawan fared even worse in scoring just 2 and 1 in the warm-up matches. The top order performance might be a sign of worry heading into the main tournament but Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli is not too concerned. Kohli said that Dhawan and Rohit are stars who perform well on the big stage in a major tournament like the ICC Cricket World Cup. India will open their campaign against South Africa on June 5 at Southampton.
“We have had two good challenges in the two games while batting first. Shikhar and Rohit are quality players, they become stars in ICC events. Ideally, we would have liked to chase today. I understand if guys don't get going right away in this format. In warm-up games, at times, you don't get the motivation especially because of the amount of cricket that we play. But I am glad about what we got out of these two games,” Kohli said when asked about the form of the players.
Despite the openers failing, India managed to win comprehensively against Bangladesh but they were undone in overcast and green conditions against New Zealand at The Oval. However, Kohli highlighted how the dynamics of the team have been in the first two warm-up games.
“The biggest positive from today was the way KL (Rahul) batted at No. 4. Everyone else knows their roles. It is important that he gets the runs as he is such a class player. MS (Dhoni) and Hardik were superb as well. We were challenged by their batsmen as well but we bowled well and our spinners got wickets too. Bumrah got us the breakthrough and Chahal and Kuldeep got us six wickets,” Kohli said. In the game against Bangladesh, KL Rahul and MS Dhoni slammed centuries while Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal picked up three wickets apiece.
Kohli said the last 15 overs of the matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup will hold the key. "The last 15 overs could be challenging on the field, especially when the game is not interesting and you have to go through the motions. But once the tournament starts nobody would find all these things long, which is what you expect from a world-class tournament like the World Cup,” Kohli said.