Virat Kohli Joins Indian Squad Ahead of T20 World Cup Warm-Up Against Bangladesh

Virat Kohli has joined the Indian cricket team in New York ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024.

Although Kohli has arrived just days after his teammates, it remains uncertain if he will participate in the warm-up match against Bangladesh at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on June 1.

Virat Kohli Joins Indian Squad Ahead of T20 World Cup Warm-Up Against Bangladesh
Virat Kohli Kohli has missed three training sessions in the USA thus far • PTI

Days after his teammates arrived, Virat Kohli joined the India team in New York on Friday for the T20 World Cup 2024. It is still unknown, though, if he would suit up for the June 1 warm-up match against Bangladesh at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

Before the opening match against Ireland on June 5, Kohli, who is coming off of an incredible IPL season in which he scored 741 runs in 15 games, will still get three net sessions.

On Friday morning, there was an optional training session were individuals such as Mohammed Siraj, Rinku Singh, and Shivam Dube worked hard under the supervision of the support staff.

Kohli has previously been granted exceptions by both the BCCI and the team management. Before the South Africa Test series last year, he was allowed to take a personal leave of absence and travel to the UK before re-joining the team. Due to the birth of his second child earlier this year, he missed the full England Test series at home.

With the exception of Hardik Pandya, who arrived after a break, the Indian squad traveled to New York in batches. Players from teams ousted from the league stage of the IPL 2024 played in the order shown below, followed by players whose teams were eliminated from the playoffs. So far, Kohli has missed three workouts.

India’s World Cup debut will take place on June 5 against Ireland. Then, on June 9, they will play Pakistan in the group stage; on June 12, they will play the USA; and on June 15, they will play Canada. The last game will take place in Lauderhill, Florida, after the first three being held in New York.

Also Read: India vs Pakistan: Thrilling ICC World Twenty20 World Cup Final 2007 Recap

T20 World Cup 2024: India’s Quest for Redemption as Cricket Expands into America

As the T20 World Cup 2024 kicks off in New York, India aims to shake off the disappointment of past near-misses while Australia looks to continue its dominance. This year’s tournament marks a historic moment, with cricket making a bold entry into the American market, featuring a record 20 teams.

India’s Redemption Journey

India, a cricketing powerhouse, seeks to end its ICC trophy drought that has persisted since the 2013 Champions Trophy. Captain Rohit Sharma, under intense scrutiny, hopes to lead the team to victory, erasing the memory of their runner-up finishes in recent ICC events. The Indian team, having learned from their outdated approach in previous T20 World Cups, is expected to bring a more aggressive strategy to the Americas.

Virat Kohli Joins Indian Squad Ahead of T20 World Cup Warm-Up Against Bangladesh
Team India in action at New York © X (Twitter)

Key Contenders and Dark Horses

Australia aims to add another title to its storied history, while Pakistan and West Indies strive to control their tendency to falter at critical moments. Defending champions England, with key players like Jos Buttler, are also under pressure after a disappointing ODI World Cup.

South Africa, bolstered by stars such as Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Quinton de Kock, and Kagiso Rabada, is determined to shed its “chokers” tag. Meanwhile, teams like Afghanistan are poised to surprise stronger opponents.

Historic American Debut

This World Cup is groundbreaking not only for its scale but also for its American debut, with 16 of the 55 matches hosted in the USA. The remaining games, including the Super 8 stage, semifinals, and final, will be held in the West Indies. The USA-Canada opener in Dallas marks cricket’s earnest attempt to gain a foothold in the American sports market, a milestone following the first-ever international cricket match between these two nations in 1844.

India’s Schedule and Strategy

India will play three games at a makeshift facility in New York, including a highly anticipated match against Pakistan on June 9. The team will benefit from a warm-up game against Bangladesh on June 1 before their opening league game against Ireland on June 5. The Indian squad’s strength lies in its spin-friendly strategy, well-suited to Caribbean pitches.

Captains Under Pressure

Apart from Rohit Sharma, other captains face significant pressure. Jos Buttler aims to redeem England after a lackluster ODI World Cup, while new Australian captain Mitchell Marsh faces his first major test. The West Indies, two-time T20 champions, look to leverage their home advantage and CPL experience to reclaim the title.

Pakistan, always a wild card, grapples with batting concerns. The return of veterans Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim, likely due to their CPL experience, adds intrigue to their campaign.

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