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“If Virat Kohli comes in, he opens the batting instead of Kishan” – Graeme Swann wants Team India to persist with Hooda and Suryakumar Yadav

Graeme Swann has cast his vote in favor of Virat Kohli opening the batting with Rohit Sharma in the second T20I between Team India and England.

The Men in Blue head into the second game with a 1-0 advantage in the three-match series. However, there will be a few selection conundrums with the Test players returning to the squad for the final two T20Is.

During a discussion on Sony Sports, Swann opined that Kohli should replace Ishan Kishan in the playing XI, saying:

“As I see it here, I see it fairly obviously, if Virat Kohli comes in, he opens the batting instead of Kishan. That’s what I would do but I have got nothing to do with the Indian selections.”

The former England spinner also shared his reason for wanting to bat the Indian batting great at the top of the order, explaining:

“When you have got a player as good as Virat, you don’t want him batting No. 3 in the middle overs because he is not going to score as quickly as SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) or Hooda when they first come in, that’s not his game.”

Swann added that Deepak Hooda and Suryakumar Yadav could prove even more dangerous in the middle order if Kohli and Rohit stitch together a substantial partnership. He observed:

“If Rohit is batting so well at the other end and scoring quickly, Virat will follow and do the same thing. Imagine Kohli and Sharma scoring heavily at the top, then Hooda and SKY coming in.”

Can we see Virat as opener in 2nd T20I ?

Kohli smashed an unbeaten 80 the last time he opened for Team India in the fifth and final T20I against England in 2021.

He strung together an opening partnership of 94 runs in just nine overs with Rohit, which helped the Indian team win the series decider by 36 runs.


“At the moment, that will be the ideal thing to do” – Ajit Agarkar on Virat Kohli opening the batting

Virat Kohli has not been at his best of late
Virat Kohli has not been at his best of late

While acknowledging that Virat Kohli opening the batting in the second T20I might be the perfect call, Ajit Agarkar reckons it cannot be a long-term solution. He reasoned:

“At the moment, that will be the ideal thing to do, without actually sacrificing Hooda, who is playing so well. But when KL Rahul comes back, Kohli is going to have to drop down the order, so that’s where he is going to bat.”

It will be interesting to see how Team India accommodate Kohli and Rishabh Pant in their playing XI for the second T20I.

With the likes of Kishan, Hooda and Dinesh Karthik excelling in their roles in the last couple of series, it will be a tricky decision for the team management.


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Edited by Arjun Panchadar

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