Should Rishabh Pant make way for Virat Kohli at No. 3 for T20WC match vs Canada? Experts at loggerheads over India XI | Crickit
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Should Rishabh Pant make way for Virat Kohli at No. 3 for T20WC match vs Canada? Experts at loggerheads over India XI

Jun 15, 2024 04:13 PM IST

India opener Virat Kohli only managed five runs in three innings so far in T20 World Cup, which includes a golden duck against the USA last Wednesday.

Despite India having made it through the Super Eight stage of the 2024 T20 World Cup after a hat-trick of wins against Ireland, Pakistan and the USA, there has been one concern bothering fans. Virat Kohli was expected to emulate his stunning IPL 2024 show, where he smashed 741 runs in 15 innings for Royal Challengers Bengaluru to win the Orange Cap, in the T20 World Cup. But the former India captain only managed five runs in three innings so far, which includes a golden duck against the USA last Wednesday.

India will take on Canada in their final T20 World Cup group game
India will take on Canada in their final T20 World Cup group game

With India set to play against Canada on Saturday at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Lauderhill, Florida, in their final Group A match, there have been discussions about whether Kohli should relinquish the opening position and return to his original No. 3 spot with the team eyeing much-needed game time before the Super Eight matches begin from next week.

Former batting coach of Team India, Sanjay Bangar, cautioned head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma against changing the batting position of Kohli as he feels that it will unsettle the rest of the line-up where the likes of Rishabh Pant at No. 3, Suryakumar Yadav at No. 4 and Shivam Dube at No. 5 have somewhat settled in after three games into the T20 World Cup.

"Coming at this point, changing his batting position will sort of also lead to unsettling the other batsmen like you have settled and contributing number three in Rishabh Pant. You want to have somebody like Shivam Dube at five. Surya has got to bat at four. So in a way, the batting has sort of settled," Bangar explained.

However, former T20 World Cup winner Sreesanth, in an interview with the ANI, feels that Kohli should return to his original position as he feels that Pant, who has scored 96 runs in three matches for India at No. 3, will continue to perform as he is a player who can adapt to different situations and positions in the batting order.

"Pant is a player who can adapt to any situation. We have seen him bat at different positions. He is a brilliant player, and I think Pant will be happy if Virat goes at number three. Pant doesn't look at the situation, wicket or the bowler. He just looks at the ball. I think that is a quality that youngsters should focus on. I think he loves Virat, and he would love to see Virat score more runs. If Virat comes just before him, imagine the freedom that Pant gets, he might just hit the reverse sweep on the first ball. So that is Pant," Sreesanth said.

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