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Virat Kohli should open for India in T20Is: VVS Laxman

Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 80 as an opener in the final T20I against England
Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 80 as an opener in the final T20I against England
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 01 Apr 2021
News

VVS Laxman believes Virat Kohli should bat at the top of the order for Team India in T20I cricket.

Kohli opened the batting in the final T20I against England after the team management decided to field an additional bowler and leave KL Rahul out of the playing XI. The Indian captain played an unbeaten 80-run knock and stitched together a 94-run opening-wicket partnership with Rohit Sharma.

During a discussion on Star Sports, VVS Laxman responded that he would prefer Virat Kohli opening the batting rather than playing at No. 3 for Team India when asked about the same.

"I believe he should be opening, the way he batted in the last T20I. The more number of deliveries your two main batsmen in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma play, the more will be the pressure on the opposition bowlers," said Laxman.

The former India cricketer pointed out Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma form a formidable opening partnership, with both displaying their repertoire of strokes in the series-deciding T20I against England.

"The way Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma had a partnership in the last T20I, they were matching each other shot for shot. Rohit Sharma was the aggressor in that partnership but Virat Kohli was not far behind," added Laxman.

This was the eighth time Virat Kohli opened in his 90-match T20I career to date. The batting maestro has scored 278 runs at an average of 39.71 in these encounters, with the unbeaten 80 against England being his highest score.


"The Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma partnership reminds me of Sachin-Sehwag" - Aakash Chopra

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Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have added 937 runs as a pair in T20I cricket
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have added 937 runs as a pair in T20I cricket

While observing that the Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma partnership rekindles memories of the Sachin Tendulkar-Virender Sehwag combo, Aakash Chopra pointed out Team India has the option of several accomplished middle-order batsmen if the duo continues to open.

"The Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma partnership reminds me of Sachin Tendulkar-Virender Sehwag. After that you have Pant, Hardik and for No.3 you have Suryakumar Yadav, Iyer and Ishan. You will want to play KL Rahul somewhere in the middle, he is an amazing player," said Chopra.

VVS Laxman concluded by stating that Team India will have to ensure they have six bowling options if they want to harbour hopes of winning the T20 World Cup.

"There are a lot of options but if you have to win the World Cup, you have to play the match with the right combinaton and you have to play with six bowling options otherwise good batsmen will keep you under pressure on flat wickets," signed off Laxman.
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Team India will have to take a prudent call while deciding their opening pair for the T20 World Cup. While Kohli and Rohit opening the batting might allow the duo to face the most deliveries, the early departure of the pair could put immense pressure on the slightly inexperienced middle order.


Published 01 Apr 2021, 21:25 IST
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