‘Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma as openers and Rishabh Pant at No.3’: Simon Doull feels ‘it’s the best way’ | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull has suggested that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma should open the batting for India in their T20 World Cup opener against Ireland on Wednesday. The duo has only opened together once in T20Is, against England in 2021.
Kohli, despite having opened only nine times in 109 T20I innings, found tremendous success at the top for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the recently concluded IPL 2024, where he was the leading run-scorer with 741 runs in 15 matches.
In a conversation with Cricbuzz, Doull said, “My team would have Virat and Rohit opening the batting. They are the two best players to do that at this point of time and Rishabh Pant for a point of difference at 3 as a left-hand option. SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) at 4 and then you have Dube, Hardik and Jadeja at 5, 6 and 7. It just sits quite nicely for me and the Indian line-up. If they go down that road, I think it’s the best way.”However, Doull acknowledged the possibility of Yashasvi Jaiswal opening the batting, given the rumors about his being first at the nets.
“I’ve heard rumours today that Jaiswal was the first into the nets,” Doull added. “They’ve given him plenty of opportunity. That would surprise me if they bring him in. Who do they leave out? Shivam Dube? That would surprise me a touch.”

Jaiswal has had a successful stint as an opener for India in T20Is, boasting an average of 33.46 and a strike rate of 161.93 in 17 T20Is, though he was relatively inconsistent in IPL 2024.

Doull also backed wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant to bat at No. 3. Pant batted at this position in India’s warm-up game against Bangladesh, scoring 53 off 32 balls.

India T20 WC squad.

“It was just a way of getting him into that side and splitting up that middle-order combination of left-left-left. I didn’t know about Hardik Pandya at the start, so for me, it was where do I fit Rishabh Pant? Take away, let’s say, him, Dube and Jadeja… all batting at 5, 6 and 7. And just giving the top order a little point of difference. I’m pleased they gave it a chance against Bangladesh. It worked well. Will they go with it again? I think they should,” Doull explained.
As India prepare for their first match of the T20 World Cup against Ireland, the potential opening combination and batting order remain a focal point.

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