Earlier, Kohli announced that he will step down as Team India‘s T20I captain after the T20 World Cup 2021.
“It will probably be his (Virat Kohli) last time at this tournament as captain, so it’s very important for him to make everyone believe we can do it and for us to get behind him,” said the former Indian batter Suresh Raina in an International Cricket Council (ICC) column.
“All of our players have just played the Indian Premier League in the UAE and they have played themselves into top form with eight or nine games in this environment,” he added.
Raina said that Team India is one of the ‘favourites’ to win the tournament, as they have an edge over all the teams because of the IPL.
“The conditions in UAE are very similar to what we play in India and also in Pakistan. It’s a good opportunity for the Asian teams to come and play their natural game,” he said.
“We need to remember there are lots of other good teams in the tournament. Pakistan, Australia and England also look very good, and anything can happen in T20 cricket,” he added.
Raina further said that the top batting order of India is a key reason for the ‘success’ of the team.
“The key to success for India’s batting lies in the top three. Rohit Sharma is a gun player – he has a brilliant record at ICC events in the past and had a great IPL. We need Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat to bat through to 15 overs and lay the platform. They can set the momentum for the India team by doing this,” said Raina.
Raina also called the Indian spinner Varun Chakravarthy the ‘main guy’ for the bowling attack.
“Varun Chakravarthy the main guy in the India bowling attack. He has shown he can exploit the pace of the pitches. Varun has only played three T20Is but I’m not concerned by any lack of experience. There is plenty of experience in this team, particularly in the seam attack,” he said.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar in particular leads the way when it comes to experience and knowledge of how to deal with the big games. The inclusion of Shardul Thakur can also give extra strength to the fast bowlers that Virat has at his disposal,” he added.
India will be facing their arch-rivals Pakistan for their first clash in the T20 World Cup 2021 on October 24.