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Wednesday Aug 10 2022
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Ex-Pakistani cricketer makes major prediction about Virat Kohli

Cricket - Third Twenty20 International - Australia v India - Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia - December 8, 2020 Indias Virat Kohli. — Reuters
Cricket - Third Twenty20 International - Australia v India - Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia - December 8, 2020 India's Virat Kohli. — Reuters

Former Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria has made a major prediction about ex-Indian skipper Virat Kohli — who is currently going through a bad phase in his career.

The batter was dropped from India's recent West Indies series, but was brought back to the squad for Asia Cup 2022 as his colleagues — Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel — were ruled out due to injuries.

Ex-spinner Kaneria, speaking on his YouTube channel, predicted that the upcoming Asia Cup would be a defining moment for the 33-year-old and will "change" his career.

Kaneria warned the former skipper that he should make the most of the tournament as experts consider him baggage and young cricketers are in line to replace him.

"The Asia Cup will change Virat Kohli's career. The tournament is crucial for him to prolong his career," Kaneria was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times. Kaneria feels Kohli will play well.

"However, many former cricketers have said that Kohli is just heavy baggage on the team if he doesn't score runs," he said.

"So he needs to think carefully about how he can make a comeback. This is because there are other dynamic batters like Iyer, Samson and Gill waiting in the wings," he added.

With many pundits being of the opinion that Kohli should open for India, Kaneria believes that he shouldn't and should instead be placed at number 3.

"Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will open. But I would put Suryakumar Yadav at number 3 followed by Kohli. Kohli will need some time to settle in and play carefully so I think he should bat at number 4," he said.

Kohli has endured a lean run of form across all formats and the 33-year-old is without a century in international cricket since November 2019.

India are defending champions at the Asia Cup, which will be played from August 27-September 11 in the United Arab Emirates. They will open their campaign against arch-rivals and neighbours Pakistan in a blockbuster Sunday clash.

The tournament, which serves as preparation for the Asian sides in the lead up to the T20 World Cup later this year, was shifted to the UAE last month due to the political and economic crisis in Sri Lanka, who retain the hosts' honour.

India squad

Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan