Irfan Pathan defended Virat Kohli’s selection for the 2024 T20 World Cup, highlighting Kohli’s strike rate comparable to Gayle, Pandya, and Rohit.

Former Indian cricketers Mithali Raj and Irfan Pathan deliberated on Virat Kohli’s role in the 2024 T20 World Cup squad, advocating for his inclusion despite concerns over his strike rate. Mithali emphasized Kohli’s invaluable experience and outstanding performance in the 2022 T20 World Cup, where he emerged as the highest run-scorer with a remarkable average and strike rate. She also stressed the importance of considering Kohli’s batting position and team requirements, suggesting flexibility in his role as either an opener or No. 3 batter.

“We should definitely pick Virat Kohli because, when you’re talking about experience going into the World Cup, he’s also someone who’s done very well in the last T20 World Cup,” Mithali said on Star Sports Press Room.

“If he’s scoring runs at this strike rate as an opener, then it’s an option whether to bat him at No. 3 or as an opener. Of course, you have Shubham Gill; their approach is pretty much similar. So, it’s up to the management, but I feel that if we are using the same yardstick of picking people who are in form, then we should also go with Virat Kohli,” she added.

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Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan weighed in on the debate, highlighting Kohli’s strike rate compared to other renowned players like Chris Gayle, Hardik Pandya, and Rohit Sharma. He argued that a player’s strike rate must be evaluated relative to their batting position and contribution to the team’s overall strategy.

“Virat Kohli’s strike rate is actually slightly better than Chris Gayle’s in international T20s. It’s almost close to 138, Hardik Pandya’s strike rate is 139, and Rohit Sharma’s strike rate is 139. We don’t talk about their strike rates, but we will always talk about Virat’s strike rate,” Pathan said.

“I think you need to consider strike rate with the average. You need to see the kind of role the particular player is playing. You can’t have the same yardstick for every player. You can’t have a similar strike rate. Do you think if a guy has a 137 strike rate and is batting at No. 6 or No. 7, he will be perfect? But if a guy who has nearly an average of 50 with a 137 strike rate, why would you even want to talk about him being in the side or not?,” he added.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to start on June 2, shortly after the conclusion of the ongoing Indian Premier League on May 26.



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Last Updated on April 15, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter