Former South African speedster Dale Steyn has issued a gentle reminder to Indian cricket superstar Virat Kohli regarding the fierce competition for places in the national team, especially with an eye towards the upcoming 2024 T20 World Cup. According to recent reports, Kohli’s spot in the squad could be on shaky ground, despite his impressive history in the T20 format.

Virat Kohli, who last lit up the T20 stage at the 2022 World Cup, emerged as a standout performer, amassing 296 runs in six matches and finishing as India’s leading run-scorer. However, following the tournament, he decided to step away from the shortest format to concentrate his energies on One Day Internationals. This self-imposed hiatus from T20I cricket has seen him participate in just two T20I games since the 2022 T20 World Cup.

This break has opened up opportunities for several young talents to make their mark. Steyn acknowledges the rise of these contenders, noting that Kohli’s absence has cleared the stage for budding cricketers to showcase their potential and stake their claim for a spot in the squad.

There are several contenders who have come up because of the break that Virat Kohli has had from the format. But when you look at guys who take you over the line at the World Cups, it’s most of the time guys who have been there and done that. Virat Kohli is certainly one of those guys,

Dale Steyn, Star Sports

The fast-bowling legend backs Kohli to make the squad but believes that his road back to the T20 World Cup team will hinge significantly on his performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season. It is a crucial period for the right-handed batter, as a successful IPL campaign would not only reaffirm his credentials but also ensure he is in prime form for cricket’s global showdown. Steyn’s emphasis on Kohli’s IPL performance underlines the high stakes and the competitive nature of international cricket selections.

Building up to match-fitness

As Kohli gears up to return to the competition following the birth of his second child, his fans and the cricketing world will be eagerly anticipating his return to form. While his reputation as one of the game’s modern greats is not in doubt, the road to the T20 World Cup will require Kohli to assert his dominance once again amid a horde of young talent vying for international honors.

The stakes are high for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star, and all eyes will be on him when he takes the field in the upcoming IPL edition. If history is any indication, Kohli’s response to challenges has often been to let his bat do the talking, and the cricket fraternity will expect nothing less from him in his quest to represent India at the T20 World Cup 2024.

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