"100% Virat Kohli should open" - Aakash Chopra on IND vs AFG 2024 T20 World Cup Super 8 clash

India v Pakistan - ICC Men
Virat Kohli opened for India in the preliminary group stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Aakash Chopra reckons India should persist with Virat Kohli as an opener in their 2024 T20 World Cup Super 8 clash against Afghanistan. The two sides will square off in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Thursday, June 20.

Kohli has endured a horror run as an opener in the ongoing T20 World Cup. He has aggregated a paltry five runs in three innings and will hope to play a substantial knock against Rashid Khan and company.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra opined that Kohli could play a match-defining knock against Afghanistan if he continues to bat at the top of the order.

"A big question that is doing the rounds is - Should Virat Kohli open? I am saying - Yes sir, 100% Virat Kohli should open, and if he opens in this game, I even feel it could be a Player-of-the-Match-like performance because he is that kind of player and has done well against this team as well," he said (1:15).
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The former India opener added that the Men in Blue shouldn't alter their tactics based on Kohli's underwhelming performances in New York.

"It hasn't been good thus far, so as they say he will be very hungry. The run machine himself satiates his hunger for runs by scoring runs. So I feel Virat Kohli should firstly open. You wouldn't want to change your game plan entirely based on what happened in New York," Chopra stated.

Kohli's only T20I century came against Afghanistan while playing as an opener in the 2022 Asia Cup in Dubai. Although the modern batting great was dismissed for a golden duck in India's last clash against the Afghans, he has smashed 201 runs at an average of 67.00 and a strike rate of 171.79 in four T20I innings against them.


"Virat Kohli to open with Rohit Sharma" - Aakash Chopra on India's probable top 6

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are the most experienced players in the Indian lineup.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are the most experienced players in the Indian lineup.

While noting that Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav would follow Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the batting order, Aakash Chopra added that Shivam Dube regaining his form is great news for India.

"Yashasvi (Jaiswal) will have to wait. Virat Kohli to open with Rohit Sharma. This will be my first thought. Then Rishabh Pant at No. 3 and Suryakumar Yadav at No. 4. It's mandatory for both of them to do well. The form Shivam Dube has got now, it's thumbs up with both hands. His name came in the team based on his performances in the last series he played against this team," he said in the same video (1:50).

The cricketer-turned-commentator opined that Dube should be persisted at No. 5, with Hardik Pandya at No. 6.

"The IPL got attached later. He did so well against Afghanistan in Mohali and Indore that you said he needed to be selected. He has regained form and scored a few runs with hard work in the last match. He was selected for these grounds and spin-dominated bowling in the opposition. So Shivam Dube and then Hardik Pandya," Chopra reasoned.

Dube scored a crucial unbeaten 31 in India's Group A win against the United States of America. The left-handed big-hitter smashed unbeaten sixties in the first two T20Is against Afghanistan earlier this year.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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