Sanjay Manjrekar credits Virat Kohli for embracing new T20 mindset
Shedding his historically sedate approach, Virat Kohli was seen going after the ball against England in July.
Amidst growing criticism of his dwindling returns with the bat and scanner on his spot in the side, Sanjay Manjrekar, however, opted to praise Virat Kohli for embracing, in limited opportunities, India's newfound aggressive approach with the bat in T20Is.
Kohli, who has missed 20 of India's previous 24 matches in the shortest format since the end of the T20 World Cup last November, was last seen in action for the second and the third T20I versus England in July.
In his two outings, the Indian No.3 garnered only 12 runs at the crease. But Manjrekar took heart from the fact that the right-hander made a conscious effort to press the accelerator on and take the game back to the opposition.
Having previously urged Virat Kohli & co to free up and play their strokes in this format, Manjrekar said it augurs well that skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid have got the former India captain to bide into an attacking method.
"You have got to give credit to Virat Kohli" - Sanjay Manjrekar
Historically someone who has tended to play himself in for the first 20 balls before exploding deep into the innings, Virat Kohli went for the attacking options from the very beginning of his stay at the crease against England.
Manjrekar said the batter should be credited for embracing the change and being selfless in line with his team's approach and new philosophy.
"They should celebrate because the class is back. Virat Kohli has had some first-hand experience of this new approach of India in T20 cricket in England. So he has embraced that, not with great success, but he has embraced that. You have got to give credit to Virat Kohli," the ex-India Test player told Sports18's show 'Sports Over the Top'.
Manjrekar considered it a positive sign that Kohli retained his team-above-self ways even as he desperately needs to spend time in the middle and score runs.
"He didn't care about whether he was getting runs or whether he was getting out because he desperately needed runs in England and he is looking for international runs but he still sort of backed up the Indian team's new philosophy. He was trying to hit boundaries from ball number one," he added.
As per ESPNcricinfo ball-by-ball data, Kohli attempted a boundary five times off the nine balls he faced, executing two. The batter got out twice off the other three. But the fact that he bought into the team's new approach, shedding his sedate ways, was Manjrekar's biggest takeaway from his batting against England.