Virat Kohli has T20 World Cup in his sights after match-winning effort for RCB in IPL 2024

Former captain says he is more than just a name to promote T20 cricket across the world

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Virat Kohli showed he still has fire in the belly as he steered Royal Challengers Bengaluru to victory against Punjab Kings in the IPL on Monday.

Kohli hit a well-paced 77 from 49 balls to help Royal Challengers chase down a target of 177 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium - their home ground.

It was a far from routine innings for Kohli as it showed he still had the hunger to succeed in the T20 format; his spot in India's T20 side has come under the scanner recently, with a growing belief that the team has too many 'anchors' and not enough power hitters.

The T20 World Cup begins in June in the Caribbean and the US - right after the IPL. And if Kohli has a bumper season, he would be an automatic selection, especially since national captain Rohit Sharma reportedly wants Kohli in the team.

Kohli averages more than 50 in T20 internationals and has a strike rate of almost 140, but still faces questions over his scoring rate. On Monday, the 35-year-old said he still has what it takes to succeed in the format.

"I know my name is nowadays quite attached to just promoting the game in many parts of the world when it comes to T20 cricket. But, I've still got it, I guess," Kohli said in his post-match conference.

The former captain was referring to suggestions by some experts and former players that Kohli needs to be a part of the 2024 T20 World Cup in order to promote the game in North America.

Kohli hit 11 fours and two sixes in his 49-ball knock as Bengaluru chased down the target with four balls to spare.

The star batsman fell to fast bowler Harshal Patel in the 16th over and soon Bengaluru lost another wicket before Dinesh Karthik (28) and impact substitute Mahipal Lomror (17) steered the team home by adding of 48 off just 18 balls.

Kohli returned to competitive cricket in the IPL after taking a two-month break for the birth of his second child. When asked about his extended paternity break, Kohli said time away from India had helped him reconnect with his family and move away from the spotlight.

"We were not in the country. We were at a place where people weren't recognising us," said Kohli.

"Just to feel normal for two months was a surreal experience. I was telling the guys that the voices got that much louder (back home) which wasn't the case for the last two months. It was amazing to be another person on the road."

On Monday, Kohli also became the third batsman after Chris Gayle and David Warner to score 100 or more fifty-plus knocks in T20 cricket.

Updated: March 26, 2024, 9:02 AM