T20 World Cup 2024: Sanju Samson gets 100% backing to replace Virat Kohli at No.3 in India's playing XI

Published - 31 May 2024, 09:22 PM | Updated - 31 May 2024, 09:26 PM

Sanju Samson, Virat Kohli
Sanju Samson, Virat Kohli (PC: X)

Former India National Cricket Team pace bowler RP Singh has given his 100 percent backing to the star wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson to replace the batting superstar Virat Kohli at the No.3 position in the playing XI during the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, which will be co-hosted by the USA and West Indies.

Virat Kohli is the leading run-getter in the history of T20I cricket as he has smashed 4037 runs in 117 matches at an astonishing average of 51.75 and a strike rate of 138.15, with 1 ton and 37 fifties.

Kohli has batted from the No.1 to No.6 position for India National Cricket Team but most of his runs have come at the No.3 position. In that position, Virat Kohli has slammed 3076 runs at an average of 53.96 and a strike rate of 135.26.

Despite Kohli's fantastic stats for India at No.3, calls have been made for a switch in his batting position and the reason behind this has been the performance of the batting maestro in the recently concluded Indian Premier League 2024 (IPL 2024).

In the recently concluded IPL where KKR emerged as the winners, Virat Kohli finished as the leading run-getter and he won the orange cap for his heroics for the second time in his career. In just 15 innings, Virat Kohli racked up 741 runs at an amazing strike rate of 154.69.

Along with Kohli, India have Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal as the opening options in the squad, and the Indian captain is guaranteed a place at the top hence, the battle for the second position will be between Kohli and Jaiswal.

The only thing that goes in Jaiswal's favor is that he provides a left-handed option at the top which will benefit the team. The Indian team management will have a great headache in finalizing the second opener once the World Cup begins and ahead of the competition RP Singh has given some suggestions to Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid that may help them in making the decision.

If you ask me, then I would want Virat Kohli to open with Rohit Sharma - RP Singh 

In a recent interaction, RP Singh stated that Virat Kohli should open the innings for India National Cricket Team with Rohit Sharma and Sanju Samson should take Kohli's no.3 position.

"If you ask me, then I would want Virat Kohli to open with Rohit Sharma. Sanju Samson should bat at No. 3. 100 percent. They both can play as in the XI. You can play Suryakumar Yadav at 4, Rishabh Pant at No. 5 and Hardik Pandya at No. 6. It depends on the team combination also. The captain and coach should take the coach. We need such a line-up," RP Singh told IndiaToday.in in an exclusive chat in New Delhi.

Notably, the dream opening pair of the batting greats Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli has only been witnessed once by fans in T20I cricket. In 2021, Kohli and Rohit opened the innings against the England National Cricket Team and stitched up a stunning 94-run partnership.

During the same interaction, RP Singh also spoke about Hardik Pandya, who has been struggling both on and off the field in the last few months. Things got tough for Hardik Pandya after he took over the leadership of Mumbai Indians from Rohit Sharma as fans didn't accept him and he was booed heavily on the ground. Off the field, there have been rumors of divorce between Hardik Pandya and his wife Nataša Stanković.

Amid the struggles of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, RP Singh backed him saying that the star player has shown commitment and his performance will be crucial for India's success.

"What is important as a player? Your commitment and your performances. He tried his best even in the IPL. He was bowling four overs. That’s very important. Hardik Pandya’s performance will be crucial especially when it comes to the balance of the team. If he is finds good form early, it will help the team," RP Singh said.

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Sanju Samson Virat Kohli ICC T20 World Cup India National Cricket Team RP singh