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‘RCB’s poor run will not affect Kohli at WC’

 KOLKATA, April 17: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s poor IPL run is in no way a reflection of skipper Virat Kohli’s acumen, who will come good for India at the upcoming World Cup, feels New Zealand and Kolkata Knight Riders speedster Lockie Ferguson.

Kohli has scored 278 runs from eight matches at an average of 34.75 but RCB have suffered seven defeats in eight matches to be all but out of contention for a playoff berth.

“He’s (Kohli) an international superstar. I think playing for RCB is a lot of different than playing for India,” Ferguson, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders, told PTI in an interview here.

“It’s a completely different competition, different team, different formats. I wouldn’t look into too much how he’s been going in. Personally he’s been scoring runs,” he reasoned.

On Friday, RCB will take on KKR, who are also smarting from three successive losses.

“In T20, potentially Kohli hasn’t got the wins that he would have liked in at the start of the competition. But that’s not to say that he’s going to go badly at the World Cup,” said Ferguson, who had dismissed Kohli with a short ball in their first ODI in Napier earlier this year.

The Auckland-born pacer also rated Indian left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan highly.

“He came to New Zealand to play some T20s. Once again, a very good International cricketer. He’s doing very well here in the IPL (for Delhi Capitals).”

The World Cup begins ON May 30 in the UK and Ferguson named India and hosts England as firm favourites to win the tournament before quickly adding West Indies as the “dark horses”.

“India and England are going to be serious contenders but I think West Indies are the ones to look out for and perhaps the Black Caps too,” he said.

“West Indies have been playing some exceptional cricket. The West Indians in the IPL have been doing really well too. But one day cricket is a lot different than T20.

“New Zealand have pretty impressive history at the World Cup,” he said about the last edition’s runners-up.

Ferguson was roped in by KKR ahead of the 12th season to replace Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson as their pace spearhead.

The 27-year-old, who has played five matches for KKR, said he’s gaining a lot from his IPL experience.

Asked if in the net sessions, he bowls to big-hitting teammate Andre Russell, who has been in devastating form this season, Ferguson said: “I haven’t bowled to him yet. He’s often been bowling when I’m bowling at the nets. He hits the ball pretty well.

There has been a lot of talks about workload management with the World Cup taking place just after the IPL. Ferguson felt T20 is not too demanding physically. – PTI

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