With the T20 World Cup fast approaching, the Indian selectors have their task cut out to finalise a bunch of players they think will deliver the silverware which the team last won in 2007. It’s not that they have any dearth of options.
2nd T20I: Ireland Beat Afghanistan by Five Wickets to Take 2-0 Lead
The problem is exact opposite - there are plenty of choices. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav are more or less a certainty to form the team’s top-order but there’s a difficult question that needs to be addressed soon.
Since the South Africa T20I series in June, the Indian team management has experimented with their top-three batters. The likes of Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar among others have been asked to open the innings against different teams.
And in the absence of Rahul, who has been battling fitness concerns, Rohit (when not resting) has been the only constant presence at the top. Now, with a fully fit Rahul back in the mix and Kohli all but certain to bat at no 3, what happens to all those backup options?
Will it be Rohit, Rahul and Kohli as top-three? The question is so complicated given the current circumstances that even former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, known for speaking his mind, seems a bit confused.
“Not answering that. It’s a tough one, really tough, because there are some serious contenders there. That’s why these matches before the T20 World Cup are so important," said Manjrekar on the Sports 18 show Sports Over the Top.
WI vs NZ 2022: West Indies call-up Spinner Kevin Sinclair For New Zealand ODIs
“KL Rahul has to be part of the T20 team. So has to be Virat Kohli just because of the stage and the pressure that comes in. It’s going to be a tough one. We have seen Suryakumar Yadav bat in the top three, we have seen Rishabh Pant bat in the top three. These are all very exciting options, so let’s see how it goes,” he added.
Though Manjrekar is intrigued by the prospect of Pant opening with Rohit, he still feels ‘stumped’.
“I love that idea of Rishabh Pant opening with Rohit Sharma. So that is something I am excited about, the possibility is there. It’s such a difficult one. You have got Virat Kohli, you have got KL Rahul, you have got Suryakumar Yadav and I think these are the three serious contenders. I am stumped," Manjrekar said.
Get the latest Cricket News, Schedule and Cricket Live Scores here