T20 World Cup 2022: Kris Srikkanth, Irfan Pathan back Virat Kohli to bat at No.3
T20 World Cup 2022: Former India cricketers Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Irfan Pathan have backed talismanic batter Virat Kohli to bat at number three position in their predicted playing eleven as the final leg of preparations for Men’s T20 World Cup kickstart through the three-match series against Australia, followed by South Africa.
Kohli returned to form in the Asia Cup after a gap of a month and a half from the sport. After finishing as the second-highest run-getter with 276 runs in six matches at a strike rate of 147.59. Including 122 against Afghanistan and a pair of fifties against Hong Kong and Pakistan, respectively.
India hopes to win the Men’s T20 World Cup trophy in Australia from October 16 to November 13 for just the second time after taking home the trophy in 2007 in South Africa. Kohli’s return to form bodes well for India in this endeavour.
“My playing 11, wherever you play, whether you’re playing in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney or Perth. My playing 11 is always fixed. For the first game — KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli — number three, Suryakumar Yadav – number four, number five is Hardik Pandya, number six is Rishabh Pant, number seven — Ashwin, eight — Chahal, 9, 10, 11 — in this particular team will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar, (Jasprit) Bumrah and of course Harshal Patel,” said Srikkanth on ‘Follow The Blues’ show on Star Sports.
For the Men’s T20 World Cup, Pathan had a slightly different perspective than Srikkanth on who should start for the Indian Team, keeping Dinesh Karthik as the only keeper rather than Rishabh Pant.
“See, in my opinion, if you’re playing the first match, you need to have some experienced bowlers including one spinner. So, from the top, my playing 11 would be – Rohit, KL Rahul, number three – Virat (Kohli), number four – Suryakumar Yadav, number five – Deepak Hooda, number six – Hardik Pandya, number seven – Dinesh Karthik.”
He continued by saying that he wanted to make room in the tournament for the young left-arm bowler Arshdeep Singh.”Number eight will be a right arm leg spinner so it would be (Yuzvendra) Chahal, 9 to 11. Here there will be Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel and also along with that you can go for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.”
“So, there will be a combination here, three fast bowlers out of which two are quality fast bowlers. And who will be able to bowl at the death as well. And I will make sure that I have the combination and the liberty to choose from the three fast bowlers. Even Arshdeep (Singh) to handle the death bowling So, in my opinion, in the playing 11. The spinner is clear, it’s just whether I can make space for Arshdeep in the team.”
India will play warm-up games against Australia and New Zealand at The Gabba in Brisbane on October 17 and 19. Before their Super 12 opener against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.