India need to stick with Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma opening pair: Wasim Jaffer

Written by Abhishek Patil

Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer opines that the side should stick with their opening batting pair in Virat Kohli and captain Rohit Sharma for the remainder of their matches in the ongoing 2024 T20 World Cup. Despite Kohli and Rohit’s silent start in the competition, Jaffer hailed the experienced India opening duo to click back into form during India’s Super 8 fixtures in the West Indies. Additionally, Jaffer also opines tweaking the opening pair will result in a complete mess-up of the entire India batting order, including the likes of Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav’s slot in the lineup.

After walking into the T20 World Cup on top of his scintillating batting form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, Kohli has not been able to replicate the same for his national side in the competition. Across their group-stage matches, the 35-year-old has only managed a total of 5 runs across his three innings against Ireland, Pakistan and the USA. His most came against Pakistan where he was dismissed for 4 runs, while the iconic India batter was out for a golden duck against USA’s Saurabh Nethravalkar. On the other hand, India skipper Rohit also shared majorly the same fate after managing only 68 runs in his 3 innings, consisting of a 52-run knock against Ireland.

Speaking to Star Sports, Jaffer explained how the dip in the duo’s form is only momentary and how they will hit back into run-scoring touch in the West Indies.

“Now that you are stuck with both of them, I don’t think it’s gonna make sense because you’re gonna split both of them up. You might probably think of playing (Yashasvi) Jaiswal. That’s probably what you’re thinking, and then Rishabh Pant, who has done so well at number three, he has to bat even lower down the order, probably at number four. Then where does Suryakumar (Yadav) bat. So it’s going to mess up the whole batting order, so I think they’ll probably stick with that,” Jaffer said.

“Rishabh has done well at number three. Suryakumar, you don’t want to bat him any lower than that, so I think they’ll stick with that. But yeah, they have to go really hard in the powerplay. We’ve seen when Australia have done that against England, they were so ahead in the powerplay, getting that 74 runs. That’s where you can make a mark. So Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the way they are batting, you could see that happen in the powerplay in West Indies,” Jaffer added.

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Abhishek Patil