IND vs PAK: Virat Kohli told to step down ahead of all-important clash by Gautam Gambhir's friend

Published - 08 Jun 2024, 10:37 AM | Updated - 08 Jun 2024, 11:05 AM

Virat Kohli Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli Rohit Sharma. Image Credit: X

Former Pakistani cricketer Kamran Akmal has raised concerns about India's batting strategy for the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024 ahead of the blockbuster clash between the Men in Blue and Men in Green at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Sunday, June 9.

Akmal specifically criticized the Indian cricket team management’s decision to open the innings with Virat Kohli alongside the captain Rohit Sharma, claiming that this approach might not be in the best interest of the Men in Blue at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024.

Kamran Akmal slams India's batting strategy ahead of T20 World Cup 2024 clash with Pakistan

The Pakistani wicketkeeper-batter believes that Kohli's strengths lie in batting at No. 3, where he can handle pressure situations and finish games effectively for Team India. He suggested that Yashasvi Jaiswal should be given the opening slot alongside Rohit Sharma in the showpiece event.

Akmal further expressed his concern that persisting with Kohli as an opener might backfire, with India facing challenges during crucial moments of the game and potentially hindering their performance in the ongoing mega event. He believes that Kohli's ability to anchor the innings and finish the games is crucial for India's success in the T20 World Cup in 2024.

Notably, Team India introduced their new opening pair in their T20 World Cup 2024 opener against Ireland, but this move did not thrive with Kohli getting out after making only 1 off 5 balls, but the Men in Blue managed to win the game by eight wickets, thanks to Rohit’s sensational fifty in New York.

After the match, India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour said that they will continue with the same opening pair by confirming that Rishabh Pant will remain their number three batter in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024, which means Rohit-Kohli will open against Pakistan on Sunday.

Yashasvi Jaiswal should open and Virat Kohli at No. 3: Kamran Akmal on India's batting order

Kamran Akmal said on his YouTube channel: “I don't think the batting order is correct. Virat Kohli can take the pressure at No.3 and finish the match. That is very important for Team India. Yashasvi Jaiswal should open the batting. Kohli should come at 3. If India stick to this batting order (of Kohli) opening, then they may get stuck at some point. Kohli holds one end up and finishes off the game. I think India are making a mistake by opening with Kohli.”

Akmal further said that Team India will be very confident when they lock horns with Pakistan in the high-octane clash of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 after Jasprit Bumrah (2/6), Mohammed Siraj (1/13) and Hardik Pandya’s (3/27) sensational performance against Ireland in New York.

He added, “India will be confident. Bumrah bowled well, Siraj did well. Hardik Pandya also got wickets. They have three matches at the same venue, that will also be an advantage.” Akmal signed off by criticizing New York's critical pitches, “ICC will have to produce better pitches for big matches. Otherwise, people will go away from this World Cup.”

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Kamran Akmal Virat Kohli Yashasvi Jaiswal India National Cricket Team IND vs PAK ICC T20 World Cup India vs Pakistan