Friday, June 14, 2024

‘We have Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal…’: Dravid’s mystery-ridden verdict on Kohli’s role in IND vs IRE T20 WC match

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One of the biggest selection headaches for India going into their T20 World Cup opener against Ireland on Wednesday at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York will be picking their opening combination. Although India did subtly drop a hint last Saturday, during their warm-up game against Bangladesh, but head coach Rahul Dravid chose to keep the mystery alive until June 5.

Virat Kohli (L), Rohit Sharma (C) and Rahul Dravid having a chat(Getty)

Yashasvi Jaiswal and captain Rohit Sharma were the preferred players for the opening role in the World Cup, until IPL happened. The left-hander’s inconsistent run in the 2024 edition of the league amid Virat Kohli’s stunning run in that batting position, where he scored 741 runs in 15 innings to win the Orange Cap, sparked a discussion on whether India should alter their plan for the World Cup and pick the former captain as Rohit’s opening partner.

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On Monday, ahead of India’s World Cup opener against Ireland, Dravid was asked about India’s opening combination for the tournament opener and the batting legend kept his cards close to his chest.

“We’ve got options, so we are obviously not going to reveal our cards just yet, but certainly we’ve got options. We have Rohit and Jaiswal and Virat opened in the IPL as well. We picked the team keeping in mind that we have three options and we could pick and choose what we wanted depending on the conditions and kind of combination we go into these games with,” he said.

Dravid’s comment came just days after India chose not to feature Jaiswal in the warm-up game against Bangladesh despite Kohli being absent owing to his late arrival in New York. India instead opened with Sanju Samson and Rohit, thus hinting that Kohli will be taking up the opening role in the ICC tournament.

Kohli has opened for India in nine of 117 appearances over the 14 years of his career, scoring 400 runs at a strike rate of 161.29. Not to forget, he had smashed that sensational 122* against Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2022 while opening for India.

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