Updated June 6th, 2024 at 15:35 IST

India will continue with Kohli-Rohit opening pair in T20 WC, Rishabh Pant will play at No. 3 - Coach

Team India kick started their ICC T20 World Cup 2024 with a big win against Ireland and now they will prepare to face Pakistan on Sunday, June 9th.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opening the batting for Team India vs Ireland at T20 World Cup 2024 | Image:AP
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Indian Cricket Team kickstarted their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign by a thumping eight wicket victory over Ireland in their group stage opener at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. 

Bowling first, India dominated the proceedings against Ireland and bundled them to a score of 97. They chased the total of 98 with relative ease on the back of assured innings from skipper Rohit Sharma and wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant

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However, a key decision made by the management was the fact that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opened the batting for Team India against Ireland and Rishabh Pant slotted in at the number 3 spot. Despite Virat Kohli’s failure, India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has confirmed that they plan to go with the same batting order throughout the World Cup.

Also Read |'Ugliest': Rohit Sharma's patchy batting in T20 World Cup scrutinised

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India’s batting coach confirm Kohli-Rohit opening pair throughout the World Cup?

India’s batting coach Vikram Rathourcoach indirectly confirmed that India will play with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli opening the batting as India will continue with wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant at No. 3 in the T20 World Cup.

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"Yes, he has been batting really well. The two games (warm-up and Ireland) he has played, he has looked really, really good," Rathour told the media after the match here at the Nassau County Cricket Stadium.

On a challenging pitch with uneven bounce, run-scoring was difficult but Pant unleashed a few stunning shots, including a reverse-scoop over the Irish wicket-keeper's head for a match-winning six in his unbeaten 36.

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"Yes, at the moment he is our No. 3 and it helps that he is a left-hander," Rathour added, in a way cementing the combination of skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at the top.

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Also Read | 'Pant Madness': Rishabh Pant hits jaw-dropping six to leave even Ireland bowler SPEECHLESS

India delighted with return of Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant 

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Both Pant and Pandya, who returned to top-flight cricket in the IPL, are making a comeback to international cricket after a long gap.

The duo delivered the goods in India's eight-wicket thrashing of Ireland in their opening game here on Wednesday.

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Both Pant and Pandya made their way back into the India squad for the T20 World Cup after proving their fitness and form in the IPL.

Even though he did not garner big numbers as an all-rounder in a turbulent season as captain for Mumbai Indians, India chief selector Ajit Agarkar had said that there is no one in the country who could match Pandya's skills as an all-rounder.

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On Wednesday, Pandya was quick and precise with his line and length to produce 4-0-27-3 in his first match since October 2023 -- also in a World Cup.

Pandya had hobbled off the pitch in Pune playing against Bangladesh after twisting his ankle, which left India without an all-rounder and also disrupting the balance of their playing XI, with incoming Suryakumar Yadav failing to make an impact in the 50-overs quadrennial showpiece.

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"Hardik looked really good. Hardik has been - I mean, even in the practice game and even in the practice — bowling really well," Rathour said.

"He looks fit enough to go through four overs and he's been bowling with some pace and some accuracy, so yeah, it's great," he added.

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Up next for Team India in T20 World Cup 2024 awaits the mammoth clash against Pakistan in New York which will surely be a true test of where the team stands in this World Cup. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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Published June 6th, 2024 at 14:23 IST