There’s no way Virat Kohli has to open batting for India in T20Is: Ex-AUS batter

Virat Kohli

Matthew Hayden said that Virat Kohli shouldn’t be opening for India in the T20Is and he must be playing at number three.

Kohli, who usually plays in the middle order, opened the innings in the match against Afghanistan where he smashed his 71st international ton. This was also his first century in two years.

Thus, fans wanted him to open the innings for the team alongside Rohit Sharma. However, Hayden has different opinion.

Speaking in a virtual press conference organized by Star Sports, as quoted by NDTV, the former Australian opener said that the door shouldn’t be left open for the discussion.

“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,” said Hayden.

“Virat Kohli is a world-class player”

He added that he wouldn’t touch the top order at all. He wants KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma to open the innings and Virat Kohli to bat at number three.

“You don’t want to have a doubt, you don’t want to have K.L Rahul in the masterful form that he’s been in of late and Rohit Sharma who is captain of the team thinking ‘I’ve got to kind of watch my spot here that you know I’m an opening batsman and my job is to play with freedom’ and unfortunately, when you start having these debates and you start thinking ‘oh maybe he, for his game, it should be him opening’, I’m sure he wouldn’t want to entertain that and put pressure.”

“The one thing that you want to alleviate in the World Cup is the pressure. Just let the batting order rely on its own form and Virat Kohli can handle the situation. He’s a world-class player, he can bat at three and he should bat at three in my opinion,” he added.