IND vs IRE: Virat Kohli blocked to open for India on the brink of India's World Cup opener vs Ireland

Published - 03 Jun 2024, 10:43 AM | Updated - 03 Jun 2024, 10:50 AM

Irfan Pathan and Virat Kohli
Irfan Pathan and Virat Kohli (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan stated that young batter Yashasvi Jaiswal should open the batting with skipper Rohit Sharma instead of ace batter Virat Kohli in the T20 World Cup 2024. Pathan emphasized the lack of bowling options among Indian batters in the ninth edition of the T20 World Cup.

Virat Kohli was rested from India's warm-up match against Bangladesh at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Saturday, June 1. Kohli had joined the Indian team a day before the match. The Indian team defeated the opposition team by a 60-run margin in the warm-up match.

Virat Kohli shone with the bat for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. The right-handed batter was the highest run-getter in the T20 tournament. He scored 741 runs at an impressive average of 61.75 and a strike rate of 154.70, including a century and five fifties.

Yashasvi Jaiswal, on the other hand, was snubbed from the batting lineup in the warm-up match. The team management's decision indicates that Jaiswal might not be picked in the playing XI for Team India's World Cup opener against Ireland at the same venue in New York on Wednesday, June 5.

Shivam Dube Has Been Regularly Bowling In The Nets - Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan stated that the Indian team could explore different combinations in their World Cup opener. Pathan said that the team could either deepen the batting lineup or go with four frontline bowlers. He highlighted that Shivam Dube has also been preparing to contribute with the ball.

“With the selected team, there can be two combinations. In one combination, you can play with six bowlers, including Axar Patel, to deepen the batting lineup. In the other combination, you can play with four front-line bowlers and expect Shivam Dube and Hardik Pandya to bowl. Another option for Team India is a young player who bowls in the nets but hasn’t bowled in matches, Yashasvi Jaiswal. Shivam Dube also mentioned during the IPL that he has been regularly bowling in the nets, preparing to bowl one or two overs in the World Cup," Pathan said.

This Problem Will Be Largely Solved - Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan mentioned that Hardik Pandya can solve problems with his bowling. The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that having additional bowling options among the top batsmen would benefit the team, citing examples from teams like England and Australia.

"If Hardik can give you the option of bowling three to four overs, this problem will be largely solved. Our other batsmen, like Rohit, Virat, or Suryakumar Yadav, can’t bowl, which makes us somewhat handicapped. Ideally, if any of these players could bowl, it would greatly benefit the team. We talk about Australia, but even England has many all-rounders among their top seven players, including Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, and Will Jacks. It’s always better to have more bowling options, and yes, in this scenario, we are definitely handicapped,” Pathan added.

Hardik Pandya bowled three overs in the warm-up match and picked up one wicket but conceded 30 runs. Pandya could play a role as the third pacer if the team picks only two pacers in the team. Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh are likely to be India's first-choice pacers in the squad.

Also read: IND vs IRE: Rishabh Pant named India's first-choice keeper after Sanju Samson's poor outing in warm-up game by Aakash Chopra