virat kohli

Ricky Ponting backed Virat Kohli amidst his batting position debate in the upcoming T20 World Cup in June.

Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting has come out in strong support of Indian batting superstar Virat Kohli, calling him a “big-match player” and expressing surprise at the ongoing debate in India about his selection in the T20I squad.

“He (Kohli) is the first pick for me for India. So, class and experience like that can’t be replaced. It’s funny with Virat. I think people in India just always try to find a reason not to pick him or a reason why he’s maybe not as good as some of these other guys in the T20 game,” Ponting told the ICC.

Ponting pointed out Kohli’s crucial role in India’s thrilling last-ball victory against Pakistan at the 2022 T20 World Cup with a brilliant knock of 82 runs. “There were talks about dropping Virat last year, but when it came to the big game, he delivered,” Ponting said.

While Kohli has been opening the batting for RCB in the ongoing IPL season, his preferred position for India has traditionally been number 3. With captain Rohit Sharma likely to solidify the opening position, the presence of young left-handed opener Yashasvi Jaiswal creates a selection headache for the team management.

“The selectors still have a decision to make on the opening pair. Jaiswal is a talented batter, and India certainly needs more left-handers in the team,” Ponting suggested.

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“While they might consider Jaiswal, I believe they will eventually go with the experienced pairing of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at the top of the order. Kohli can adapt his batting to suit the opening position, especially with players like Suryakumar Yadav and the in-form Rohit Sharma around him to accelerate the score,” Ponting explained.

Meanwhile, Rohit and Co. are gearing up for the T20 World Cup preparations as they open the group stage of the tournament against Ireland on June 5th, followed by an outing against Pakistan on June 9th.



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Last Updated on May 22, 2024