"It's obvious Virat Kohli will open" - Sanjay Bangar on Yashasvi Jaiswal not playing in IND vs BAN 2024 T20 World Cup warm-up clash

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Virat Kohli were not part of India
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Virat Kohli were not part of India's playing combination agaisnt Bangladesh. [P/C: BCCI]

Sanjay Bangar reckons Virat Kohli will open with Rohit Sharma in India's 2024 T20 World Cup opener against Ireland. He noted that Yashasvi Jaiswal would have opened in the warm-up game against Bangladesh if he had been in the Men in Blue's scheme of things.

Sanju Samson opened with Rohit Sharma in New York on Saturday, June 1, in India's only warm-up game before the global event. While Kohli was rested as he had arrived only a day earlier, there is no clarity on why Jaiswal wasn't included in the batting lineup.

Reviewing the game on Star Sports, Bangar opined that Kohli will be Rohit's opening partner against Ireland on Wednesday, June 5.

"I feel the team has decided to go in the direction that Yashasvi Jaiswal will probably not play the first match. If Yashasvi Jaiswal was in their plans, they would have played him in this match. Since they have not played him, it's obvious Virat Kohli will open," he reasoned.

The former India all-rounder was asked whether the move would allow opposing teams to employ left-arm spinners to strangulate two right-handed openers.

"They are quality players. So it's not necessary that they can't score runs against left-arm spinners. They have scored a lot of runs. The way the surface has played also tells you how the team would think. There is no doubt that Virat's numbers will be good at whichever position you play him," Bangar responded.

Bangar pointed out that batters struggled to play big shots on the slightly tricky New York pitch. He noted that it wasn't a 220-run pitch, with many attempted big hits falling just outside the 30-yard circle.

"If the team has picked Virat Kohli, he won't be used fully if he plays at No. 3" - Sanjay Manjrekar

Virat Kohli has batted at No. 3 for the majority of his career.
Virat Kohli has batted at No. 3 for the majority of his career.

Sanjay Manjrekar reckons India won't be able to utilize Virat Kohli effectively if he is made to bat at No. 3.

"I believe if the team has picked Virat Kohli, he won't be used fully if he plays at No. 3, and there will be a lot of pressure on Virat Kohli at No. 3, so he will open. Rishabh Pant came at No. 3 today but I don't know whether he will come there in the actual match," he said.

The former India batter concurred with Sanjay Bangar that Yashasvi Jaiswal is not in the team's thoughts as an opener.

"They are not looking towards him (Jaiswal). You can understand if Bumrah doesn't play or bowl because he doesn't need to. However, Yashasvi Jaiswal needs to play warm-up matches in India colors. Whoever needed it was given opportunities today. So we got to see who the team management is interested in and is wanting to give them match practice," Manjrekar reasoned.

Kohli was at his sublime best as an opener for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in IPL 2024. He was the Orange Cap winner and the Indian think tank might be inclined to bat him at the top of the order in the T20 World Cup to make the most of his good form.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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