‘Virat Kohli has to open or he does not play…’: Matthew Hayden voices strong opinions about India’s batting line-up for T20 World Cup | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: As India prepare for their T20 World Cup opener against Ireland on Wednesday, former Australian opener Matthew Hayden has voiced a strong opinion on India’s batting order. Hayden believes that Virat Kohli should open the innings for India, suggesting that Rohit Sharma would be more effective batting at number four to control the middle order.
Kohli, who has a stellar record in T20Is both as an opener and at number three, recently won the Orange Cap in IPL 2024, leading to increased calls for him to open for India. Despite this, there is speculation that India might opt for the opening pair of Rohit and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

In a conversation with ESPNcricinfo, Hayden emphasized the importance of having a left-right combination at the top of the order to counter opposition leg-spinners effectively.

ICC T20 World Cup Schedule
“You have to have a left-right combination. You can’t have five right-handers in a row. Australia would just say hello to Zampa. Kohli has to open or he does not play in my team. He is in absolute red-hot form. Rohit is a versatile player and does not shy away from batting in that middle order. He has a successful record in T20I cricket batting at No. 4 and he can lead the batting group from the early middle order,” Hayden elaborated.

Kohli’s record in T20 World Cups is exceptional, making him the highest run-getter in the tournament’s history with 1141 runs in 27 matches at an average of 81.50.
As Team India gears up for their campaign, the debate over the ideal batting lineup continues, with fans and experts eagerly awaiting the team’s strategy in their quest for T20 World Cup glory.

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