Tuesday, June 25, 2024

T20 WC: 'Virat should open; Rohit bats at No.3', believes Ajay Jadeja

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | May 03, 2024 02:26 PM

NEW DELHI: Former India all-rounder Ajay Jadeja believes skipper Rohit Sharma should make himself bat at number three and promote Virat Kohli to open the batting for the Men’s T20 World Cup, set to begin from June 1 in the West Indies and the USA.

Rohit and Kohli are India’s top-order batters in their 15-member World Cup squad alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal and Suryakumar Yadav. India are placed in Group A of the competition alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, Ireland, Canada and co-hosts USA.

They will begin their campaign on June 5 against Ireland at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. "For me, Virat Kohli opens. Who goes back? Rohit Sharma bats at three. He gets a little cushion and gets to understand the game, he has so much going on, in his mind as a captain.

“If you have Virat in your side, you know consistency is the one thing you will get, so, might as well use him. He's best at the top and the powerplay allows him to settle in. When there's 20-30 on the board and then spin comes on, as he stays longer, he gets better. My pick has always been that if Virat is in this squad, he should open," said Jadeja to JioCinema, the official streaming partner of IPL 2024.

Vice-captain Hardik Pandya has been in horrid form with the bat and ball while captaining Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024, but Jadeja thinks the fast-bowling all-rounder will come good in the T20 World Cup.

"The spotlight is on him for obvious reasons. He's a special player, a rare commodity you find in our country where somebody bowls seam-up and can make it to the side with his batting. The selection has not been on form, there's no doubt about it.

“It depends on how you want to play. It's one of the things I look at this team and think they don't have many options. You have established players in the side, everybody is so solid with the numbers that they play at, and what stage they play. It will all depend on what Rohit thinks," he said.

India have opted to take a spin-heavy bowling lineup comprising Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Suresh Raina, the former India batter, thinks Chahal and Kuldeep can be played together in India’s eleven during the World Cup.

"I think both Kuldeep and Chahal should play. I think our X-factor is Chahal. Their partnership will be useful because you're playing on wickets where a spinner needs to create pressure. If Chahal can't do it, Kuldeep can. If Kuldeep can't, Chahal will do it," said Raina.


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