Former India cricketer and selector, Devang Gandhi feels that Virat Kohli should bat at No. 3 despite his brilliant performance at the top in the fifth T20I against England. The skipper replaced KL Rahul as the opener and partnered with Rohit Sharma.
The duo put on a 94-run stand in 9 overs before Rohit got out for a breezy 34-ball 64. Kohli batted through the innings and remained unbeaten on 80 from 52 balls taking India to a gigantic match-winning total of 224.
While the skipper also confirmed that he will open for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2021, and aired his intentions of opening for India further in the World Cup as well, however, Devang Gandhi doesn’t concur with Kohli. Gandhi explains that in the fifth T20I India got off to a brilliant start, but at times the team could lose early wickets as well – as happened in other games when the English pacers troubled India’s top order in the powerplay.
Therefore, the 49-year-old opines that Kohli would be needed in the middle-order if India loses the openers early as this is a young team with players like Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer, who could potentially be playing in their maiden World Cup.
“It’s all fine when you’re 100-1, but cricket is such a game that you can also be 20-2 in a knock-out game. In such situations, experience in the middle-order becomes very crucial. I believe Kohli at No. 3 is a better option and he can guide the young lot who will be playing their first World Cup,” Devang Gandhi told The Times of India.
Shikhar Dhawan will be there in the World Cup squad: Devang Gandhi
Gandhi, who played 4 Tests and 3 ODIs, also feels that Shikhar Dhawan can still find a place in the World Cup squad. He points out that because of the bio-bubble protocols, the ICC is likely to increase the squad strength from 15, hence Dhawan, who was dropped after the first game, could be part of the squad as a back-up opener.
“With the Covid protocols still in place, I will be really surprised if the T20 World Cup squad is restricted to 15. The way things are at the moment, it is about staying in the mix and Dhawan, being a proven performer, will be there in the squad. The IPL, though, is huge for him, but then, that’s true for most of the others as well,” the former batsman added.