Amid questions over his place in India's squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup, a cricket publication has made a bold claim about Virat Kohli, declaring that the talismanic batter would indeed be on the flight to the West Indies.


The T20 World Cup will take place in the Caribbean and the US in June and India's 15-men side will be picked by the national selectors led by Ajit Agarkar at the end of this month. 


According to Cricbuzz, Virat Kohli is a certainty in the Rohit Sharma-led team, considering the Delhi-born cricketer's dazzling form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) for his franchise Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB).


With 316 runs in five matches, the 35-year-old leads the run charts in the 2024 IPL at present. During his splendid run in the elite competition, Virat Kohli has struck two fifties and a record-extending eighth hundred in the tournament. 


Furthermore, Virat Kohli's runs have come at a healthy strike-rate of 146.29 and an extraordinary average of 105.33.


While Virat Kohli's consistency is something to marvel about in the IPL, there have been murmurs about his strike-rate in the event. 


In RCB's last fixture against the Rajasthan Royals (RR), while Virat Kohli came up with a majestic knock, his 67-ball hundred was still the joint-slowest in the IPL. In 2009, out-of-favor Team India batter Manish Pandey scored his century in the same number of balls against the Deccan Chargers. 


Overall, he faced 72 balls during his innings – the third-highest in the Indian Premier League.


New Zealander Brendon McCullum smashed an unbeaten 158 off 73 balls in the maiden IPL clash in 2008 while Manish Pandey needed 73 deliveries for his unbeaten 114 vs the Deccan Chargers the following year.


Moreover, he became the first player to score more than 7500 runs in the IPL. His run tally for the RCB in the IPL now stands at 7579 runs. 


In addition to that, the Delhi-born cricketer has made 424 runs for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the now-defunct Champions League T20 tournament. Across the two events, Virat Kohli has scored 8003 runs for the RCB, making him the first player to compile that many runs for a single team in the T20 format.


With Virat Kohli facing criticism about his strike-rate in the IPL, West Indian legend Brian Lara suggested that Virat Kohli is a player who can accelerate during an innings. Also, he suggested that he would be opening for India alongside Rohit Sharma in the T20 World Cup.

“The strike-rate depends on position, and for an opener strike-rate of 130-140 is pretty alright. But if you are coming in the middle-order then you may be required to hit at 150 or 160. As you have seen in this IPL, batsmen are hitting at 200 in the latter part of an innings,” Brian Lara told Star Sports.


“But an opener like Kohli always has the chance of starting at 130, bat through the overs and finish at 160 or even higher, which is alright. But if you ask me, India's top three in the World Cup should be Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill irrespective of all these. And for RCB, it should not be about one person, as it has to be a team effort,” he added.


“I think Rohit and Virat going as openers to the West Indies (for WC) will serve India very well. Though, I think that you should have some youthful punch in the opening. One of the younger players, showing their mettle, and having one of those experienced players shepherd the innings in the middle-order,” the West Indies great opined.


“Having that whole experience up front, it could have a negative effect if they get dismissed early, so I will use one at top, but use the other at No. 3,” he concluded. 

One must remember that the latest news regarding Virat Kohli sealing his spot in India's T20 World Cup squad comes amid previous reports which claimed that he would not be picked for the ICC event.