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Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma likely to open in ICC T20 World Cup 2024

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma likely to open in ICC T20 World Cup 2024

The team management faces a crucial decision: prioritize a settled Virat Kohli at number 3 or unlock a more flexible batting order with Kohli at the top. With the World Cup approaching, all eyes are on whether India will gamble on a reunited Kohli-Sharma opening partnership, potentially maximizing their batting potential and solving their middle-order woes.

The upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in June could see a reunion at the top of the Indian batting order. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, two of the most successful batsmen in T20 cricket, might be given the responsibility of opening the innings together, perhaps for the last time in a World Cup.

If Virat Kohli gets a chance to open with Rohit Sharma, this will mean Yashasvi Jaiswal will have to sit out of the playing XI or in worst case scenario he could not be selected for India’s WC squad. Notably, Rajasthan Royals opening batter has been going through a rough patch of form.

Virat Kohli flexibility: Opener or Anchor?

While Virat Kohli has traditionally been India’s rock at number 3, the team management is considering a potential shift. This move would address a current selection headache: accommodating another player in the middle order.

This revelation comes after BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar, India coach Rahul Dravid, and captain Rohit Sharma’s recent meeting.

“Of course, Virat as an opener is never ruled out. If the team management feels it can help accommodate another player, why not. Virat has been very flexible in terms of batting position. He also regularly opens for his IPL team RCB. So, there are no such issues around that. But it’s team management’s decision,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport last week.

This is backed up by Kohli’s impressive opening stats in the IPL, surpassing even Rohit Sharma’s record.

Virat Kohli opening prowess

Despite his reputation as a number 3 batsman, Virat Kohli boasts an exceptional record as an opener in T20s. In the IPL, he has scored nearly 4,000 runs at an average of over 45 and a strike rate exceeding 136, with all eight of his IPL centuries coming while opening.

Even in limited T20I appearances as an opener, Virat Kohli has a century under his belt and a phenomenal strike rate of over 160.

Virat Kohli vs Rohit Sharma as opener in T20 cricket

IPLT20I
PlayerMatRunsAvgSRMatRunsAvgSR
Virat Kohli103392745.66136.26940057.14161.29
Rohit Sharma92244928.15130.4116349332.34142.11
Courtesy: Howstats

Benefit of Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma Partnership

A Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma opening duo offers a solution to India’s middle-order conundrum. Kohli’s move to the top would open a crucial spot at number 3 for a player like Sanju Samson or a hard-hitting all-rounder like Shivam Dube. This would provide much-needed depth in the batting order and a vital sixth bowling option, something India currently lacks with a batting-heavy top 6.

Challenge of Virat Kohli at Number 3

If Virat Kohli remains at number 3, the opening slot likely falls to either Shubman Gill or Yashasvi Jaiswal alongside Rohit Sharma. This, however, would block the in-form Shivam Dube, who could be a valuable asset in the middle overs. Furthermore, Sanju Samson’s consistent performances in the IPL could be overlooked.

More news about Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma:

Decision Looms for BCCI

The team management faces a crucial decision: prioritize a settled Virat Kohli at number 3 or unlock a more flexible batting order with Kohli at the top. With the World Cup approaching, all eyes are on whether India will gamble on a reunited Kohli-Sharma opening partnership, potentially maximizing their batting potential and solving their middle-order woes.

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