T20 WC 2024: Ponting backs Kohli-Rohit opening pair

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 22, 2024 IST

New Delhi, May 22: Virat Kohli hits headlines every now and then. The maverick Indian batsman is now busy playing the  Indian Premier League (IPL) 2924, where he is once again chasing his dream of winning the maiden IPL title for his franchise Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB).

But some former players, fans and even experts seem to be not much bothered about RCB winning the IPL or Kohli's performance in the cash-rich Indian T20 league. 

Their focus is much greater for Kohli and Team India. They are busy debating what should be the appropriate role for Kohli in the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024. 

Should Kohli open the batting for India, a role which he has been performing for RCB in the last few seasons of the IPL?

Well, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes that Kohli, who usually bats at number three, would be best served opening the batting alongside skipper Rohit Sharma at the T20 World Cup, starting June 1 in the West Indies and USA. 

Kohli has been having a stellar IPL season which has seen him score 708 runs so far at an average of 64.36 and more impressively with an IPL career best strike rate of 155.60 while opening for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

"They (selectors) have still got a decision to make because (Yashasvi) Jaiswal is in that squad and one thing they haven't got a lot in their team is left-hand batters, so they've got a decision to make with Jaiswal, but I'm pretty sure that they'll go with Kohli and Rohit Sharma (as openers)," said Ponting to ICC.

“He can play his role at the top. And if you've got the right guys around him scoring (like) Suryakumar (Yadav)...Rohit Sharma's going to have a high strike rate. These other guys can go in there and play their way," added the 49-year old.

Virat was India's best player during the course of the 2022 World Cup as he finished the tournament as the top scorer having scored 296 runs in six innings, which included the unbeaten 82 against Pakistan which is hailed as one of his best innings to date.

"I remember having this chat and some other chats I did for the ICC about there's some talk about Virat not being in their team only last year, but what happened when the big games come around, he was one of the guys who got the job done," Ponting added.

The IPL 2024 has seen huge totals being scored and chased at ease with the game slowly transitioning into a batter’s paradise with fans paying a special attention to stats such as strike rates. Ponting spoke on how the game has changed in recent times.

"The mantra I think for the teams three or four years ago, was making sure that someone at the top of the order made 80 or 100, even if it took them 60 balls, it didn't really matter, I think it's sort of shifting now to be more of a strike rate based game where you can have a massive impact on a game with a 40 off 15 balls rather than getting an 80 off 55 balls sort of thing,” concluded the former Aussie captain.

Whether Kohli opens the batting for Team India or not, but he and his teammates would be more keen to win the ICC Men's T20 World Cup this time. Because after winning the inaugural edition of ICC Men's T20 World Cup in 2007, India have never again won the trophy again. (With IANS support) 


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