Ahead of the T20 World Cup which begins on October 17, Virender Sehwag has stated that Virat Kohli should not open the batting for India and stick to his No. 3 position. The former Indian opener further opined that the KL Rahul should open the innings in the marquee event alongside Rohit Sharma.
India will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai, and the Men in Blue have no dearth of options of players who can open the innings for the team. Earlier in March, Indian captain Virat Kohli had opened the innings along with Rohit Sharma during the T20I series against England, and he scored 231 runs from five matches.
However, considering the form of KL Rahul in IPL, Virender Sehwag stated that the Karnataka-batsman should open for India along with Rohit Sharma in the T20 World Cup. he further stated that, if he was a part of the Indian support staff, he would have tried to convince Virat Kohli to bat at No.3 for the team.
"If I was a part of the Indian support staff, I would definitely try and convince the captain that he is better off at No. 3. If KL Rahul opens, it will be better for us. At the end of the day, it is the batsman's call to decide the batting order, but if so many people are suggesting something, he listens. All the big captains – Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble or even MS Dhoni – if 2-3 people used to come and tell him something, he would listen to them," Sehwag had said on Cricbuzz.
KL Rahul amassed 626 runs from 13 matches for Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 and is currently holding the Orange Cap. Speaking on Rahul’s current form, the former Indian opener stated that the 29-year-old can be extremely dangerous if he gets the freedom to play.
"But the thing is – I doubt there's anyone who can tell Kohli that he should not open and instead bat at No. 3. That is the matter. The way KL Rahul is batting, if he opens in international cricket, and he gets the freedom to play the way he did the other evening against CSK, then he can be an extremely dangerous player," Sehwag added.
Ishan Kishan is also a strong contender for the opening role along with his franchise captain Rohit Sharma. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old, who scored two consecutive fifties in his last two outings for Mumbai Indians, reckoned that Kohli has asked him to prepare as an opener for the Indian team in the T20 World Cup.
"I was just taking one point at a time. I would love to open and that's what Virat bhai said - 'you are selected as an opener, you just have to be prepared for that.' In the bigger stage, you need to be prepared for every situation I feel," Ishan revealed when asked about his chat with captain Kohli.