Former Australian captain Michael Clarke hopes that Virat Kohli will be dismissed for a duck in the India-Australia 2023 World Cup match in Chennai on Sunday. He cheekily added that Kohli can score a hundred in every other game and then again fall for 0 against Australia in the final.
India and Australia met in a three-match ODI series in India ahead of the World Cup. While the Men in Blue clinched the series 2-1, Kohli was rested for the first two games. He featured in the dead rubber in Rajkot and scored a half-century, but India ended up losing the match.
In an interview with Boria Majumdar on the show Backstage with Boria, Clarke opened up on the threat that Kohli could pose to Australia. He also hailed the former Indian captain as a once-in-a-lifetime player in one-day cricket and backed him to have an excellent World Cup campaign.
“Yeah, I’d like him [Kohli] to get a duck in the first game. Then, he can make 100 every game after that until he plays Australia in the final and gets another duck,” Clarke quipped.
On a serious note, he was effusive in his praise of Kohli and added:
“He’s a genius. He’s class, he’s back to his best. He was always going to be back to his best. I think anybody that wrote him off is very silly. Class is permanent, and he’s another great player that has shown that. And this is probably his best format. He’s a genius in Test cricket, Twenty20, but he’s an once-in-a-lifetime player in one-day cricket.”
“He knows the conditions. He knows how to chase a total better than any player in this format ever did before him. So, again, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a stellar World Cup,” the former Aussie skipper stated.
Kohli has an exceptional record in the ODI format. In 281 matches, he has amassed 13083 runs at an average of 57.38 and a strike rate of 93.78, with 47 hundreds and 66 fifties.
“You would be a fool to think that he’s not going to take a lot of wickets” – Clarke on Bumrah
Apart from Kohli, Clarke also picked fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah as one of the key players for India in the 2023 World Cup. He, however, urged fans and critics to be patient with the bowler as he has only just returned from injury.
“Bumrah is a genius and it’s just going to take him some time. So, I think as long as the expectation isn’t for him to walk out in this first game against Australia and be at his absolute best, come the semifinal and final, we know what Bumrah can do. He’s done it for such a long time in all formats of the game, and you would be a fool to think that he’s not going to take a lot of wickets in this World Cup,” Clarke commented.
Bumrah made a comeback following a back surgery during the tour of Ireland. He was part of the Asia Cup and also featured in two of the three ODIs against Australia.