“Everybody will look to win 2023 World Cup for Virat Kohli”: Former India opener Virender Sehwag

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Former India opener Virender Sehwag believes India should try to repeat their 2011 World Cup triumph and take home the trophy this time around for Virat Kohli.

The tournament opens on October 5 with a match between last time’s finalists England and New Zealand at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. At the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India defeated Sri Lanka to win the 2011 World Cup on home soil. It was generally anticipated that the 2011 World Cup would be the famous batter Sachin Tendulkar’s last, and the squad gave everything to help the ‘Master Blaster’ win the cherished cup.

In 2011, Virat Kohli was a member of the team and helped Sachin over his shoulders as the team made a victory lap at the Wankhede Stadium. Since Sachin’s retirement, Kohli has effectively taken over as the head of India’s batting unit. However, since India lost in the semi-finals in 2015 and 2019, Kohli has yet to experience triumph.

Sehwag thinks the Indian team should give it their best to win the World Cup for Kohli as the 2011 team did for Sachin now as the event is back in India. Speaking at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 schedule launch event in Mumbai on Tuesday, Sehwag said, “We played that World Cup for Tendulkar. If we won the World Cup, it would have been a great exit for Sachin paaji. Virat Kohli is the same now. Everybody will look to win the World Cup for him. He always gives more than 100 per cent. “I think Virat Kohli is also looking to this World Cup. 100,000 people will watch you at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Virat knows how the pitches will behave. I am sure he will score a lot of runs and he will do his best to win the World Cup for India,” the former India opener added.

On October 15 in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium, India and Pakistan will square off in one of the tournament’s most eagerly awaited matches. The match is the one in the competition that Sehwag is most looking forward to. “Everybody wants to look forward to that India-Pakistan game. So even I am,” he stated. When quipped about predicting the winner of the clash, Sehwag added, “I’m not sure what will happen that day, but the team that handles pressure well will win.

Further elaborating on the pressure faced by the players during the fixture and why India holds the edge, Sehwag said, “I feel that now India handles the pressure that is why they win whereas Pakistan have a burden that they haven’t won against India. In the 1990s, they were good at dealing with pressure but after 2000, India soak it better. If any player says that they don’t feel pressure, I don’t think it’s right. We used to say it too but at the end of the day, we know it’s an India vs Pakistan game and emotions run high.”

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