Virat Kohli
Matthew Hayden stated that for an effective batting lineup, India should use a left-right combination, and if Virat Kohli doesn’t open, he will not make it to Hayden’s T20 World Cup 2024 team.

Amid the debate over who should open for India alongside Rohit Sharma in the 2024 T20 World Cup, former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden has offered a surprising opinion. He suggested pairing Yashasvi Jaiswal with Virat for a left-right combination, moving Rohit from his usual opening position. Kohli’s exceptional IPL 2024 season, where he won the Orange Cap with 741 runs in 15 innings, has further evoked discussions about the possibility of him opening the batting.

In a conversation with ESPNCricinfo, Hayden doubled down on his stance, stating that if Kohli doesn’t open, he wouldn’t include him in his playing XI for India.

“You have to have a left-right combination. You can’t have five right-handers in a row. Australia would just say hello to Zampa. Kohli has to open or he does not play in my team. He is in absolute red-hot form,” Hayden remarked.

READ ALSO | Sunil Gavaskar Suggests Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma To Open in T20 WC, Doubts Yashasvi Jaiswal’s Form

Meanwhile, Hayden believes Rohit’s versatility makes him ideal for the middle-order, a position where he can effectively lead the batting group. Rohit has a flexible batting record for India, scoring 3974 runs in 151 appearances. He has shown adaptability by batting outside his usual opening slot in 27 matches, scoring 481 runs with five half-centuries. In the IPL, Rohit has batted at various positions, including No. 4, where he has scored 2565 runs in 91 innings, with 20 fifties at a strike rate of 130.

“Rohit is a versatile player and does not shy away from batting away in that middle order. He has a successful record in T20I cricket batting at No. 4 and he can lead the batting group from the early middle order,” the former Aussie cricketer concluded.

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Last Updated on June 3, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter