Virat Kohli can't be replaced at No. 3, opines Sunil Gavaskar despite Shreyas Iyer's heroics against Sri Lanka
Virat Kohli can't be replaced at No. 3, opines Sunil Gavaskar|
Shreyas Iyer had a remarkable T20I series against Sri Lanka while batting at No. 3, scoring 204 runs from three outings at a strike rate of over 176. Still, Sunil Gavaskar believes Virat Kohli will continue playing in that position once he makes his return to the limited-overs cricket for India.
Virat Kohli has cemented his place as a regular No. 3 batter for India in the limited-overs cricket for some time now. Kohli has impeccable records while batting in that position in the process of becoming one of the greatest players in modern-day cricket.
Around two weeks ago, Kohli took a break from bio-bubble ahead of the third and final T20I against West Indies. India captain Rohit Sharma and the team management asked Shreyas Iyer to bat at No. 3 in his absence. Shreyas did his part remarkably, aggregating 204 runs at a strike rate of 174.36 while remaining unbeaten in all three outings.
Now former Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Sunil Gavaskar, while speaking to Star Sports regarding what would happen after Kohli’s return, said this is “a great problem to have” for India. Gavaskar further stated, “Obviously, Virat Kohli can’t be replaced. He will probably come in at No.3, there is no question about it.”
Like Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, who had an impressive T20I series against West Indies, did not feature against Sri Lanka in the limited-overs series. Gavaskar opined that Shreyas and Suryakumar may bat after Kohli to set up a potent middle-order.
“...you can use somebody like Shreyas Iyer at No.4 or 5. Suryakumar, the way he has been batting, he has got to be included. It is just the plus, plus as far as the team is concerned,’ Gavaskar added.
Aakash Chopra, another cricketer-turned-commentator, however, came up with a different idea to form India’s batting unit. Chopra feels Shreyas must play at No. 3 from now on, while Kohli can be used as an opener alongside Rohit Sharma.
“Shreyas Iyer put his stamp on the three matches against Sri Lanka. He has asked a very good question from all of us and the selectors. He was asked about his preferred position, he said No.3. Virat Kohli bats at No.3 but it is not a given that Virat will always play at No.3.
"Virat can also open with Rohit. Just think about it, Virat with Rohit Sharma as openers and then you have got Shreyas at No.3, Rahul at No.4, Rishabh at No.5, SKY or Hardik at No.6 or whatever, look in terms of the options," Chopra said in a video on his YouTube channel.