Kohli must play with freedom in Eng T20I series: Laxman

India captain Virat Kohli should express himself with the bat and play with freedom during the five-match T20I series against England, said former batsman VVS Laxman.

The skipper has assumed the role of an anchor in recent innings that he has played in the shortest format of the game but Laxman feels that India have enough depth in their batting lineup for the 32-year-old right hander to play his strokes.

Kohli is 82 runs away from becoming the first batsman to score 3,000 runs in T20 International cricket.

“I feel that Virat Kohli is a class batsman, he’s an outstanding batsman and with depth and quality in the Indian batting line-up, I think he should go and express himself,” Laxman said on Star Sports.

“It’s not necessary for him to play the anchor role, because we know that he’s a stroke player. If he plays with positive intent, if he plays his high percentage shots, not only his strike rate will be high, but his consistency also will be there for everyone to see — he’s a match winner,” Laxman added.

Laxman said that he expects KL Rahul to open the innings in place of Shikhar Dhawan and considering the abilities of the rest of the batsmen in the lineup, Kohli doesn’t need to stop himself from playing shots.

“With Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul opening the innings, and then you have got Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, I think they have a lot of depth. So, Virat Kohli should go out and express himself and play with lot of freedom, and that’s when he’s very dangerous,” Laxman said.

India’s five-match T20I series, which will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, starts on Friday.