Virat Kohli will play a bigger role in Indian cricket: Dilip Vengsarkar

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli took the game away from the Lankans in their opening match in Asia Cup. Kohli’s spectacular form continues from the tour of Australia and he will definitely be playing a bigger role in Indian cricket in the near future, writes Dilip Vengsarkar in a column in The Times Of India, adding that skipper MS Dhoni must also be pleased with the agile fielding of his young colleagues that saved some crucial runs.

“I strongly feel that the spinners are bound to play a very important role in this tournament. The middle overs would either put a team in strong position by getting wickets or lose the plot, for the medium pacers would find it difficult to control the onslaught at the death unless one has the pace like Umesh Yadav and bowl in the block holes,” writes the former Indian captain, adding that friday’s game against Bangladesh, in a way, will be a litmus test. “Judging on performances, the team management will have a good opportunity to finalize team strategies and compositions for the all-important clash against Pakistan.”

Meanwhile Sunil Gavaskar in his column in TOI writes that if one has to see who is a better option as the fifth bowler, then both Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan should play together. Tendulkar’s form is a worry, since it has been unusually long since he got a big score and here one is not talking of hundreds.

“India’s advantage lies in the fact that batsmen like Raina, Rohit Sharma can bowl, and Kohli also can roll his arm over. That’s why they must quickly decide on the kind of batsman they want at No. 7. Jadeja is a fine prospect, but he has had his chances and has not quite grasped them. Ask the opposition who they do not want to see coming in to bat at No. 7 and they will say Yusuf, because he can change the game in the few overs he gets to bat,” adds Gavaskar.

Coming to domestic cricket, India's new pace sensation Umesh Yadav is all set to make a comeback in the Deodhar Trophy inter-zonal one-day tournament starting on Friday after an injury rehab kept him out of contention for the Asia Cup. Yadav, who is being pitched as India's next frontline bowler with Varun Aaron, is on the road to peak fitness after recovering from a shin injury he picked on the Australia tour, says a report in Hindustan Times. “I'm back to full fitness. I'm not concentrating on anything other than achieving my goals, like working on my bowling and maintaining my fitness,” said the speedster from Vidarbha.

The pacer, who will take the field for Central Zone against South in the opening game, simply aims to bowl fast and take wickets rather than bother about the pitch. “The conditions don't matter much. Yes, you get more bounce and pace on the wickets abroad while in India, I can only name a few places like Bangalore and Mohali which are a bit pace-friendly. But as a bowler, all you have to look for is the correct line and length,“ added Yadav, who admits he is far from taking over the mantle of India's new ball attack from seniors like Zaheer Khan.