India on Sunday will have the chance to complete their league stage on an unbeaten note in the 2023 World Cup. After taking down some of the top teams in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, India have already qualified for the semifinal and are guaranteed to finish atop irrespective of the results in their final game in Bengaluru. Hence, with the match against Netherlands being inconsequential for the hosts, they could make some changes in the XI. Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull made a cheeky remark on dropping Virat Kohli, but West Indies legend Ian Bishop was prompt in reminding the Sachin Tendulkar record that the former India captain could possibly break in the match.
On Saturday, ahead of the start of the match between Australia and Bangladesh in Pune, Doull, on Star Sports was asked if he feels India will change their winning combination in the match against Netherlands. The veteran cricketer jokingly revealed that he would want Kohli to be rested so that his pre-World Cup prediction of Quinton de Kock ending as the leading run-getter comes true. The South Africa wicketkeeper-batter is currently the leading scorer in this tournament with 591 runs in nine matches, followed by New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra on 565 runs in as many games, while Kohli stands third with 543 runs in eight matches.
“In an ICC show prior to this tournament I had picked Quinton de Kock as the highest run-getter. So I would leave Kohli out so that he can’t pass Quinton and I would replace him with whoever that doesn’t really matter,” he said leaving the presenter in splits.
Although Doull later admitted that India are unlikely to make any changes unless “there are niggles”, he was quickly interrupted by Bishop who pointed out the chances of Kohli willingly opting for a rest when he stands a century short of shattering Sachin’s long-standing ODI record of most tons.
Bishop said: “Wait. Do you think Kohli will voluntarily rest when he is one century short of the record?”
Doull laughed as he replied saying: “No chance. I just wanted to win something.”
Kohli has already struck two centuries in this tournament which has been his best ever batting show in a World Cup edition. The two triple-figure scores have put him at par with Sachin’s century tally of 49. He hence stands a hundred away from being the first ever batter in international cricket with 50 ODI tons.