T20 World Cup 2024: Virendra Sehwag wants Virat Kohli to sacrifice his slot, says, ‘I’ll play him at 3’

With the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) meeting Indian cricket captain Rohit Sharma, several former Indian cricketers and critics have suggested their list of players to be included in the squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

Apart from which player will fly with the Indian team to the West Indies in June, one primary debate gaining momentum is who will open for India—Virat Kohli or Yashasvi Jaiswal?

Days after announcing the Indian cricket team’s playing XI, former Indian opener Virendra Sehwag suggested on 28 April that Kohli should continue to bat at No.3. He also provided an example of India’s batting great, Sachin Tendulkar, who sacrificed his opening spot unwillingly but gave his best effort in ODIs.

ALSO READ: Virender Sehwag drops Hardik Pandya from his list of India’s T20 World Cup squad. Says, ‘he should be…’

“If I were in that team, I wouldn’t send him to open. I’ll play him at 3. Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal will open, and Kohli will continue to bat at no.3. The middle-overs approach is his headache, he knows if there’s an early dismissal, he can take care of powerplays. If the wicket falls late, it’s the captain and the coach’s responsibility to tell him to keep the momentum intact. A player has to do this,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.

He added, “Sachin Tendulkar also left his opening role to bat at no.4, and carried the momentum in that role. He batted at no.4 in the 2007 World Cup. Even he didn’t like to bat in the middle-order, but he had to do that for the team. If your team has two good openers and you are asked to bat at 3, you have to do that. You have to carry the momentum that the openers have set. I don’t think Virat Kohli will be too bothered.”

On 24 April, Sehwag announced his playing XI for India ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. He axed all-rounder Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin. However, he included Rishabh Pant, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Sandeep Sharma on his list.

On being asked to name his India starting XI on the ‘Club Prairie Fire’ podcast, Sehwag said, “Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Rinku Singh or Shivam Dube – one of these two, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Sandeep Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.”

Though he did not reveal why he did not see Hardik Pandya in the playing XI, but mentioned that the probability of him in the final 15 is high. “He [Hardik] should be in the 15, but if you’re asking Playing XI, right?” he added.

India will take on Ireland in the opening game of the T20 World Cup on 5 June.

Kohli in IPL 2024:

Kohli has played 10 matches for RCB in IPL 2024 and scored 500 runs at an average of 71.43 and a strike rate of 147.49. His highest in the tournament is an unbeaten 113, while he has hit 46 boundaries and 20 sixes.

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Published: 28 Apr 2024, 10:30 PM IST

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