Updated April 26th, 2024 at 22:35 IST

'If that happens, you might see...': Pathan envisages Virat Kohli opening doors for Rinku and Dube

Irfan Pathan delivers an interesting take on Virat Kohli. Says Virat Kohli's batting position in ICC T20 World Cup could give leeway to Team India.

Virat Kohli | Image:AP
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Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal could start for India in the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2024, citing the strength of the right-hand and left-hand combination. Irfan highlighted Jaiswal's strong international strike rate of 160, emphasizing the significance of firepower at the top of the order. However, the former Indian all-rounder stated that if Virat Kohli opened, the team composition would change, perhaps allowing players like Shivam Dubey and Rinku Singh to be included in the playing XI.

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Irfan Pathan comes up with an interesting take on Virat Kohli's position

Rohit and Kohli returned to India's T20I squad after a 14-month absence, playing home T20Is against Afghanistan earlier this year. Virat and Rohit have been absent from India's T20I squad since their defeat in the T20 World Cup 2022 semi final against eventual champions England in Adelaide, Australia. Kohli is the top run-scorer in T20Is, with 4,037 runs, and holds the record for the most runs in T20 World Cup history, with 1,141 runs and 14 fifties. Meanwhile, Rohit is the fourth-highest run scorer in the T20 World Cup, with 963 runs. 

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Considering all the factors former India player Irfan Pathan has weighed on the position of Virat Kohli. According to Pathan, Kohli at three would make way for the left hand-right hand combination of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma to settle at the top. But if he comes in and opens the innings then it would give leeway to include players like Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh in the eleven. 

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"See, as far as I'm concerned, Indian openers should be Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma, purely because of the right-hand and left-hand combination. Don't forget Yashasvi Jaiswal's international strike rate is 160 and you need that, you need that firepower. If Virat opens up the batting, what happens is that it will allow the combination of 11 to be in a certain way, which you want. If that happens, you might see Shivam Dubey playing, if he's there in the squad. You might see guys like Rinku Singh in the playing 11 as well. But if Virat bats at number three, that might not happen. So that's a big challenge," Irfan Pathan told Star Sports.

Furthermore, Irfan Pathan proposed using Jaiswal not only as a batsman but also as a part-time bowler, considering his consistent practice in the nets. Irfan feels that this will allow the Indian side to field five primary bowlers while still having Jaiswal as a sixth bowling option, alleviating the issue of a lack of bowling choices among the top six batsmen. 

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 "The other thing, if Yashasvi Jaiswal is playing, what can happen as he's actually been bowling regularly in the nets? So what you can do is you can actually play proper five bowlers and maybe have him as a sixth bowler, as an option to keep it. Otherwise, if you look at the batting order, no one bowls. No one bowls in the top six and that's the biggest challenge what we have as Indian cricket. And that's what we need to consider that as well. So for me, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma and then Virat bats at number three," Pathan added.

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Published April 26th, 2024 at 22:35 IST