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Thursday, July 25, 2024

‘Just make sure…’: AB de Villiers’ piece of advice for Team India for breaking ICC trophy drought | Cricket News


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NEW DELHI: Legendary South Africa batter AB de Villiers believes that for India to emerge victorious in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup, they must adopt an aggressive approach and “throw the first punch” in their matches.
On Thursday, India will face Afghanistan in their ICC T20 World Cup Super Eights encounter in Barbados. The Indian team concluded their group stage with an impressive record of three wins in three matches against Ireland, Pakistan, and the USA in Group A, while their final match against Canada was abandoned due to rain.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, finished second in Group C, securing three victories and suffering a single defeat against the West Indies.
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India’s primary objective is to break their drought of ICC tournament titles, with their last triumph being the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, following their successes in the T20 World Cup and the 50-over World Cup in 2007 and 2011, respectively.
In recent years, India have come close to winning tournaments, reaching the semifinals and finals, but they have consistently fallen short during the knockout stages.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, De Villiers said, “Just make sure you throw the first punch. In the past World Cups, I think they have been a bit conservative, sort of feeling their way into a game. They are such a quality team that I feel they can take a bit of a risk early in the game to get the momentum because there is no looking back once they get the momentum.”

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De Villiers believes that star India batter Virat Kohli should occupy the number three position in the batting order during the current ICC T20 World Cup. He regards Kohli as “the best player in the world during middle overs.”
Despite being the highest run-scorer in T20 World Cup history and consistently performing exceptionally well over the years, Kohli has had a disappointing start to the tournament. In his three innings so far, he has scored just 1 run against Ireland, 4 against Pakistan, and a duck against the USA.
Two of his dismissals occurred while he was attempting to play aggressively, while in the match against the USA, he was dismissed after poking at a delivery pitched outside the off stump, a weakness that has troubled him frequently in the past.
Virat entered the tournament following an outstanding Indian Premier League 2024 campaign with the bat for Royal Challengers Bengaluru, amassing 741 runs in 15 innings at an average of 61.75 and a strike rate of 154.69, including a century and five half-centuries.
He also secured the Orange Cap for his exceptional performance. Virat achieved his highest-ever strike rate in his IPL career and displayed remarkable prowess against spinners, adopting a more aggressive approach when facing them.
Unfortunately, this attacking strategy proved ineffective on the challenging pitches of Nassau County International Stadium in New York, which faced criticism for its inconsistent bounce and unfavorable conditions for batsmen. As India prepare to play their matches in Barbados, Antigua, and Saint Lucia, Virat will be eager to break his streak of low scores and showcase his newfound style with a significant innings in the West Indies.
De Villiers said on Virat, “I have always said please bat Virat at number three. Especially in better wickets that they will play now, Virat is the go-to guy at number three. He can play the attacking game and also pull back and absorb the pressure if necessary. He is the best player in the world in the middle overs. I do not see any reasons (for opening).”


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