- Sep 23, 2023
- Jul 20, 2023
Not long ago, Virat Kohli opened the batting in the Asia Cup 2022 game against Afghanistan. This happened after skipper Rohit Sharma decided to rest for the game. During the game, Kohli scored his maiden T20I hundred and 71st overall. This has given birth to the debate of whether the former India skipper should open the innings in the shortest format or not.
However, former two-time World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir has killed the debate wholeheartedly. He said that Kohli must be a backup option only for the opening slot with the likes of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul already in the side. Gambhir added that the 33-year-old shouldn’t be fixated at the number three slot and asked for some flexibility according to the match situation.
“Only as a backup (opener). Don’t start this nonsense about him (Kohli) opening the batting. He can’t open the batting with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma (available). And I have said this on air that we shouldn’t even start this. I will always be flexible about No. 3. I will not have Virat Kohli fixed at No. 3 position. If the openers have batted till the 10th over, then it has to be Suryakumar Yadav at No.3. If an early wicket falls then Kohli,” Gambhir said on an episode of ‘GamePlan’ on Star Sports.
Former Australia opening batter Matthew Hayden has echoed Gambhir’s views on Kohli opening the batting. The former said that there is no way Virat should open the innings in the T20Is.
“And this great debate around Virat batting up, GG (Gambhir) and I have already had this over the last couple of days, there’s no way that he has to open the batting, he has to bat at number 3, simple as that. And again, it’s another one of those things that you don’t want to let the door open the discussion on this. He’s a world-class player, he can bat at three and he should bat at three in my opinion,” the Aussie said.