IND vs IRE: Rohit Sharma demoted, Virat Kohli to be dropped as Matthew Hayden makes shocking selections for India's T20 WC XI

Published - 03 Jun 2024, 02:32 PM | Updated - 03 Jun 2024, 02:33 PM

Matthew Hayden, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli
Matthew Hayden, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Image Credit: X

Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden has stirred the pot in the ongoing debate over India's opening pair for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, as he proposed a bold strategy that could reform their batting lineup for the mega event in the USA and West Indies.

Amid speculation on whether Virat Kohli or Yashasvi Jaiswal should partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the order for the Indian cricket team at the T20 World Cup 2024, Hayden has called for the strategic left-right combination by pairing Kohli with Jaiswal at the top of the batting order.

In a conversation with ESPNCricinfo ahead of India's T20 World Cup 2024 opener against Ireland, Hayden stressed the importance of balance in the batting lineup, saying a left-right combination is a must to counter opposition bowling attacks. He firmly suggested that Kohli must open the innings for Team India; otherwise, he will not be part of his ideal playing XI.

Matthew Hayden calls for a left-right combo at the top for India in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024

The cricket expert mentioned Kohli's exceptional form in the recent IPL 2024, where he clinched the Orange Cap with a staggering tally of 741 runs in 15 innings for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB). Apart from Hayden, many experts want Kohli to play as an opener in the T20 World Cup 2024.

Well, Hayden further stressed that Kohli's red-hot form makes him a crucial asset at the top of the order, and it also provides the Men in Blue with a dynamic batting option capable of punishing the bowlers from the outset. However, the Australian legend's stance pushes Rohit down the batting order.

He said that the Indian skipper should bat at No. 4 in the showpiece tournament while citing his versatility and successful track record of batting in the middle order in T20I cricket. He suggested that Rohit's adaptability makes him well-suited to lead India's batting charge from the early middle order, providing stability and experience to the team in crucial situations.

Matthew Hayden urges Virat Kohli to open, pushes Rohit Sharma down the order for T20 World Cup 2024

Matthew Hayden was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo: “You have to have a left-right combination. You can't have five right-handers in a row. Australia would just say hello to Zampa. Kohli has to open or he does not play in my team. He is in absolute red-hot form.

Rohit is a versatile player and does not shy away from batting away in that middle order. He has a successful record in T20I cricket batting at No. 4 and he can lead the batting group from the early middle order.”

Notably, Rohit has represented India in 151 T20I matches and amassed a total of 3974 runs. Interestingly, in 27 of these appearances, the right-handed batter played outside his customary opening position and amassed 481 runs, including five half-centuries.

Whereas, eight of these appearances saw him batting at No. 4 for India, and he managed 188 runs at a commendable strike rate of 122.87, with two fifties to his name. In the IPL, Rohit has also shown his versatility by batting at various positions.

In 91 IPL innings so far, Rohit batted at No. 4 and amassed 2565 runs at a brisk strike rate of 130, notching up 20 half-centuries along the way.


ICC T20 World Cup 2024 India National Cricket Team Matthew Hayden Virat Kohli Rohit Sharma Yashasvi Jaiswal