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What makes the Virat Kohli – Suryakumar Yadav partnership so important for India

Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav form one of the most potent batting partnerships in T20 cricket at the moment. Both of them have been in great touch in the ongoing T20 World Cup and promise to deliver more as India takes on Bangladesh in their fourth group match on Wednesday.

Kohli is the second-highest run-scorer in the ongoing World Cup, with more than 150 runs under his belt already, while Yadav is third with 134. In this article, we will analyze what makes their partnership so successful.

They complement each with very well

As is the case for all successful partnerships, Kohli and Yadav complement each other well. Kohli is one of the game’s greats, with a copybook technique and the ability to play shots all over the ground. Yadav, meanwhile, is a little unconventional and depends more on his excellent hand-eye coordination and wristy elegance.

Moreover, Yadav is in great form now and seems incapable of doing anything wrong. How he scored a breezy 68 against South Africa on a challenging surface in Perth seemed to defy belief. Kohli is wise enough to know that and has often decided to play second fiddle to Yadav whenever those two have come along on the pitch.

In this World Cup, Kohli has adopted the tactic of starting cautiously to spend more time on the crease and accelerate as the innings progress. He has played more shots on the ground early on and has only gone for aerial shots later in his innings. On the other hand, Yadav has played his natural game and has not shied away from attacking the bowlers from the outset to use his sublime form fully.

It was evident in India’s recent T20 series against Australia and South Africa and the World Cup when Kohli and Yadav have repeatedly come together to put India in a strong position.

What can the bowlers do?

Well, ideally, a bowler would not want to bowl to either of them at the moment. However, if that option is unavailable, a bowler will be well-advised to know that it will be challenging to dismiss Kohli with a bad delivery. He is not going to play a rash shot early in the innings and throw his wicket away. Hence, one must devise a genuine wicket-taking delivery to get rid of Kohli, preferably with movement in the air or off the surface.

Yadav poses a different sort of challenge to the bowlers. He has swift hands and possesses a great reflexes. However, on the flip side, he is not as strong through the off-side as he is through the on-side. Therefore, a bowler should bowl outside the line of the off stump to him as much as possible. Moreover, he should also try to pitch it back of a good length, as Yadav is likely to devour anything pitched full.

How those two hold the key to India’s progress

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With K L Rahul yet to find form and Rohit Sharma being often dismissed after getting set on the wicket, Kohli and Yadav have got the opportunity to spend time on the crease. Moreover, their ability to hit big shots and thereby clear the ropes means that India continues to depend upon them greatly to post a significant total or chase down a target.

It can be safely assumed that Kohli will continue to play a more sedate role in their partnership, with Yadav backing himself to go for the shots. The 32-year-old Yadav is unlikely to be in a richer vein of form ever again in his career and should make good use of it while it lasts. As for Kohli, he will not play T20 cricket for much longer and should be desperate to win the title for India. It remains to be seen whether he becomes successful in his endeavour this time around.

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