"If he opens for India"- Virat Kohli threat issued before IND vs AFG Super 8 clash

Published - 20 Jun 2024, 12:45 PM | Updated - 20 Jun 2024, 12:50 PM

Rashid Khan and Virat Kohli
Rashid Khan and Virat Kohli (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra shared his thoughts on whether Virat Kohli should continue as an opener for India in their Super 8 match against Afghanistan in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. Aakash Chopra stated that Virat Kohli should open the batting with skipper Rohit Sharma in India's upcoming match.

Virat Kohli has had disappointing performances with the bat in his new role as an opener in the ongoing T20 World Cup. The right-handed batter has scored just five runs in three innings at an average of 1.67 and a strike rate of 55.56. He was dismissed for a first-ball duck against the United States of America (USA).

The team management promoted Virat in the batting order to accommodate all-rounder Shivam Dube in the playing XI. Rishabh Pant has batted at No. 3 throughout the tournament. The wicketkeeper-batter has amassed 96 runs at an impressive average of 48.00 and a strike rate of 124.68, with a best score of 42.

Virat Kohli Should Open - Aakash Chopra

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra stated that Virat Kohli could deliver a game-changing performance in the upcoming game against Afghanistan if he continues to open the batting.

"A big question that is doing the rounds is - Should Virat Kohli open? I am saying - Yes sir, 100% Virat Kohli should open, and if he opens in this game, I even feel it could be a Player-of-the-Match-like performance because he is that kind of player and has done well against this team as well," Chopra said.

The cricketer-turned-commentator emphasized that India should not change their strategy for the upcoming games despite Virat Kohli's disappointing performances in challenging batting conditions in New York. Chopra said that Kohli, known as a run machine, will be determined to bounce back.

"It hasn't been good thus far, so as they say he will be very hungry. The run machine himself satiates his hunger for runs by scoring runs. So I feel Virat Kohli should first open. You wouldn't want to change your game plan entirely based on what happened in New York," Chopra added.

Virat Kohli scored his only T20I century against Afghanistan during the 2022 Asia Cup while opening the innings. Kohli has scored 201 runs in four T20I innings against Afghanistan at an average of 67.00 and a strike rate of 171.79. However, he was dismissed for a golden duck in his most recent innings against the Afghans.

Yashasvi Jaiswal Will Have To Wait - Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra mentioned that Yashasvi Jaiswal would need to wait for his chance in the World Cup. Chopra also praised Shivam Dube's return to form, highlighting his recent performances in the last series he played against this team.

"Yashasvi (Jaiswal) will have to wait. Virat Kohli to open with Rohit Sharma. This will be my first thought. Then Rishabh Pant at No. 3 and Suryakumar Yadav at No. 4. It's mandatory for both of them to do well. The form Shivam Dube has got now, it's thumbs up with both hands. His name came in the team based on his performances in the last series he played against this team," Chopra further added.

Also read: Pakistan players' wives blamed for their shambolic outing in T20 World Cup 2024 by former Pakistan cricketer

Tagged:

Aakash Chopra Virat Kohli India National Cricket Team ICC T20 World Cup India vs Afghanistan IND vs AFG