Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Kamran Akmal criticized India’s decision to open with Virat Kohli instead of Yashasvi Jaiswal in the T20 World Cup, arguing that Kohli is better suited to bat at No. 3.

Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal has criticized India’s decision to open with Virat Kohli in the T20 World Cup, suggesting it’s a huge mistake. In their opening match against Ireland, India opted to open with Kohli alongside captain Rohit Sharma, instead of choosing designated opener Yashasvi Jaiswal. The move backfired as Kohli managed only 1 run off 5 balls.

Akmal argued that Kohli should bat at No. 3, where he can handle pressure situations and finish matches, which is crucial for Team India. He warned that sticking with Kohli as an opener could lead to India getting stuck in their batting approach at some point in the tournament.

“I don’t think the batting order is correct. Virat Kohli can take the pressure at No.3 and finish the match. That is very important for Team India. Yashasvi Jaiswal should open the batting. Kohli should come at 3. If India stick to this batting order (of Kohli) opening, then they may get stuck at some point. Kohli holds one end up and finishes off the game. I think India are making a mistake by opening with Kohli,” Akmal said on his YouTube channel.

However, Kamran Akmal expressed confidence in India’s prospects, highlighting strong performances by Bumrah, Siraj, and Hardik Pandya. He then criticized the New York pitches, urging the ICC to improve them to maintain interest in the tournament.

“India will be confident. Bumrah bowled well, and Siraj did well. Hardik Pandya also got wickets. They have three matches at the same venue, that will also be an advantage. ICC will have to produce better pitches for big matches. Otherwise, people will go away from this World Cup,” the former cricketer added.

READ ALSO | T20 World Cup 2024: Dinesh Karthik Proposes Kohli-Rohit Opening Pair, Rishabh Pant at No. 3

Kohli’s role as an opener addresses several issues for India. It allows flexibility in the middle order, potentially accommodating players like Shivam Dube, and provides a better position for Rishabh Pant, who has struggled at No. 5. Captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid have considered Pant for No. 3, as seen in the warm-up match against Bangladesh, where Pant scored a fifty.

India began their T20 World Cup campaign strongly, defeating Ireland by 8 wickets. Their next challenge is on June 9th against Pakistan, who will be eager to recover from a shock loss to the USA.



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Last Updated on June 8, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter