Thu, 26 May 2022

New Delhi [India], January 18 (ANI): India batter Virat Kohli's childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma feels the former skipper will focus more on his batting after stepping down as Team India's captain.

Rajkumar Sharma's comments come three days later after Kohli announced his decision to stand down as India's Test captain.

Kohli's childhood coach said the India batter will be guiding the youngsters through his rich experience of leading a team.

"I hope that he plays the game without any pressure and enjoys the game as he always used to and I think we can see a new Virat Kohli enjoying his batting and scoring a lot of runs for the country and winning matches for the country," Rajkumar Sharma told ANI.

"That is the whole idea like he has seen his seniors doing the same and playing well for the country also.""So, I think in the same way Virat will also continue as a batter and he will focus more on his batting and he will also help the younger captain and youngsters coming in the team and that is in his DNA. He wants to help and he wants to help the Indian team. For that, I think he can contribute better now and as a batsman, he can focus on his batting," he added.

Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40).

India and South Africa will lock horns in a three-match ODI series, with the first match set to be played on Wednesday in Paarl.

Rajkumar Sharma said since Kohli is relieved from captaincy the India batter will be raring to go in the ODI series.

"He loves batting there in SA. As it is, he loves challenges and South Africa is a good challenge. Wickets are slightly different. You always find good pace bowling attacks from South Africa," said Rajkumar Sharma.

"As it is Virat loves challenges and he prepares himself for those challenges. Now since he is relieved from captaincy as well, he will be fresh and raving to go and score big runs for the Indian team.""I think so India is going to be as a favourite in this series as there were in Test also. But I think India stands a very good chance in one-day series. If they are not able to win the Test series, then they should win at least one-day series," he added.

Kohli last played an ODI in March 2021, when India locked horns with England.

KL Rahul will captain India in absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma but still, the eyes will be on Kohli as he gears up to play an ODI purely as a batter.

India ODI squad: KL Rahul (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj, Jayant Yadav, Navdeep Saini (ANI)

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