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T20 World Cup: 'It is the calm before the storm,' says Sanjay Bangar about Kohli's form

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New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) Former India cricketer Sanjay Bangar feels Virat Kohli's dismal run in the ongoing T20 World Cup is not a worrying sign as it is the "calm before the storm".

Kohli had only scored 1 and 4 against Ireland and Pakistan respectively before departing on a duck against the USA in the last encounter. The former India captain has been playing as an opener alongside skipper Rohit Sharma in the tournament.

Brushing aside any doubt on Kohli's form, Bangar mentioned the challenging nature of the New York pitch where India played all three games. The veteran also highlighted the fact that it is the first time that Kohli is opening in the ICC tournament.

Having shifted their base to Florida for their final group stage match against Canada, Kohli will have the final chance to add runs under his name before moving to Super Eight.

"He has never opened for India in the T20 World Cup before so it is a new position for him and conditions were also not in favour of him. As an opener, you don't get a second chance as your first mistake becomes your last one. I feel there is nothing to worry about and maybe it is the calm before the storm," Bangar said on Star Sports.

Apart from wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant (96 runs), Rohit (68 runs), and Suryakumar Yadav (59 runs), no batter has been able to score 50 runs in the three matches of the tournament for Men in Blue.

Former India spinner Piyush Chawla also voiced similar thoughts as Bangar and lauded Kohli's fearless intent in the showpiece event. He said Kohli will silence his critics with a big total.

"Against Ireland, his intent was very clear despite the challenging pitch as Virat knew he had to dominate. There was a lot of movement from pitch but his intent was special to me. On pitches like that if you show such intent that tells how positive you are as a batter. For me, it is not concerning because batters who do not have form look different. When Virat does not score in two-three innings, he scores a big century," Chawla said.

India have advanced to the Super Eight stage of the tournament after three consecutive wins in Group A along with the co-hosts USA. Pakistan, Canada, and Ireland failed to reach the second stage and their campaigns will end with the culmination of the group stage round.

India will lock horns with Canada at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Lauderhill on Saturday amid a rain threat.

--IANS

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