Former Australian National Cricket Team Player Matthew Hayden has said that it is not necessary for today’s batting great Virat Kohli to open the innings in T20Is and that he should bat in the number 3 position.
The discussions about Kohli taking the opening role alongside India Captain Rohit Sharma in T20 has begun following the poor form of Indian Vice Captain KL Rahul since his return from injury. In the recently concluded 2022 Asia Cup, he scored just 132 runs in five games with a poor batting rate of 122.22.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli was in great form in the 2022 Asian Cup. He opened the innings with Rahul in the Super 4 match against Afghanistan in the absence of Rohit Sharma and smashed an exceptional century. In total he scored 276 runs in five matches with a brilliant success rate of 147.59.
During a virtual press conference hosted by Star Sports, as quoted by The Bharat Express News, former Australian opener Matthew Hayden said:
“And this great debate about Virat taking the plunge, GG (Gambhir) and I have been having this for the past few days, there is no way he has to open the strike, he has to strike at number 3, it’s that simple. And again, it’s one of those things that you don’t want to open up the discussion about.”
Just let the batting order rely on its own form and Virat Kohli can handle the situation – Matthew Hayden
Hayden, who will be Pakistan’s mentor in the 2022 T20 World Cup, went on to say that there should be no additional pressure on openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul en route to the World Cup and they should be able to play freely.
“You don’t want to hesitate, you don’t want KL Rahul to have the masterful form he’s been in lately and Rohit Sharma, the captain of the team, who thinks ‘I need to be a little bit out of place here that you know I am an opening batsman and my job is to play with freedom’ and unfortunately when you start having these debates and you start thinking ‘oh maybe for his game he should open it’ I am sure he that wouldn’t entertain and pressure.
“The only thing you want to relieve in the World Cup is the pressure. Just let the batting order rely on its own form and Virat Kohli can handle the situation. He is a world class player, he can hit three and in my opinion he should have to hit three.”
Also Read: ICC T20 World Cup 2022: India Captain Rohit Sharma Breaks Silence on Virat Kohli Opening; Says “Definitely an option for us”
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