AB de Villiers advocates for Virat Kohli to play at No. 3 in T20Is, emphasizing Kohli’s role as the team’s glue and ability to anchor innings, based on their shared experience at RCB in the IPL.

AB de Villiers has expressed his support for Indian batsman Virat Kohli to play at the No. 3 spot in T20Is. Kohli, making a comeback alongside captain Rohit Sharma after 14 months, showcased his form with a brisk 26-run inning off 16 deliveries in the second T20I against Afghanistan.

De Villiers, who shared the IPL stint with Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore, believes Kohli’s strategic impact is maximized in the middle order rather than as an opener, citing the batter’s historical threat to opponents when batting at No. 3.

“For the most part of my international career, Virat batting at No. 3 was the biggest threat for us when we played against India,” De Villiers said.

“I’ve always felt like he was the glue of the team in the middle order. No. 3 is not quite middle-order, it is top-order. But he is so good that he often combined with the middle-order, even down to tailenders. It’s just impossible to play against that,” he added.

The former opener also emphasized the risk of exposing Kohli to the new ball, especially facing the initial deliveries.

“With a new ball, facing the first few deliveries there, I just think that the chances of getting a good delivery up front are so much better. I’m worried about that position,” De Villiers explained.

During Kohli’s absence from the T20I squad for 14 months, Suryakumar Yadav, held the No. 3 position. Suryakumar flourished in this role, with 614 runs in 18 matches and an impressive strike rate of 162.43.

With Yashasvi Jaiswal securing his T20 World Cup spot as an opener alongside Rohit Sharma, Kohli is anticipated to bat at No. 3.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter