"India are making a mistake by opening with Kohli" - Kamran Akmal on India's batting order ahead of Pakistan clash at 2024 T20 World Cup

India v Pakistan - Asia Cup
Kohli opened the batting for India in their opener against Ireland without much success

Former Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal feels that star batter Virat Kohli should bat at No.3 and not open the batting for Team India in the ongoing 2024 T20 World Cup. The 35-year-old opened with skipper Rohit Sharma in India's tournament opener against Ireland.

Despite Kohli scoring only 1 off 5 deliveries, the Men in Blue romped home comfortably by eight wickets in the 13th over. The champion batter is coming off an incredible IPL 2024 season where he opened the batting for Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and scored a league-high 741 runs in 15 games.

Yet, Kohli has opened only 10 times in T20Is, compared to 80 innings at one-drop, the position Akmal believes is ideal for him.

Speaking on his YouTube channel ahead of the marquee India-Pakistan clash, Akmal opined that Team India were making a mistake by opening with Kohli.

"I don't think the batting order is correct. Virat Kohli can take the pressure at No.3 and finish the match. That is very important for Team India. Yashasvi Jaiswal should open the batting. Kohli should come at 3. If India stick to this batting order (of Kohli) opening, then they may get stuck at some point. Kohli holds one end up and finishes off the game. I think India are making a mistake by opening with Kohli," said Akmal.

While Kohli averages an impressive 50 as an opener in T20Is, his numbers at No.3 are even better with an average of almost 54 in 80 innings.

The Ireland encounter was only the second time Rohit and Kohli opened in a T20I innings, with the first coming in 2021.

"India will be confident" - Kamran Akmal on the IND-PAK clash

Kamran Akmal believes India would be confident of beating Pakistan in the upcoming clash, thanks to the form of their bowlers and playing at the same venue again.

While India registered a comfortable win over Ireland, Pakistan suffered a shocking Super Over defeat to minnows USA in the tournament opener.

"India will be confident. Bumrah bowled well, Siraj did well. Hardik Pandya also got wickets. They have three matches at the same venue, that will also be an advantage," Akmal said in the same video .

The two teams will battle on the heavily criticized New York wicket tomorrow (June 9).

"ICC will have to produce better pitches for big matches. Otherwise, people will go away from this World Cup," concluded Akmal.

India hold a massive 6-1 advantage over Pakistan in T20 World Cup meetings, with their lone defeat coming in 2021.

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