Brad Hogg & Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Paul Kane, Sarah Reed/Getty Images)
Renowned Australian left-arm wrist-spinner Brad Hogg advocated for a strategic shift in India’s T20 World Cup lineup. He proposed that star batters Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli should open the innings. Hogg believed this arrangement would optimise Kohli’s prowess, allowing him to flourish at the top. The 35-year-old recently returned to the T20I scene at No. 3 against Afghanistan, showcasing his potential with a brisk 29 off 16 balls. However, his subsequent dismissal for a golden duck in Bengaluru highlighted the uncertainties of batting lower down the order.
Notably, the former India captain has excelled as an opener for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, forming formidable partnerships with players like Chris Gayle and Faf Du Plessis. Hogg emphasised that if established players like Kohli and Rohit settle in early, they could unleash their power-hitting prowess in the death overs, a strategy that could be pivotal in the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA in June.
“If Virat Kohli is playing in the T20 World Cup, I would like to see him opening the batting with Rohit Sharma. That’s where I think he can get the best out of him with the fields up and he can use the pace. At the backend, if you have one of Rohit or Virat batting through the innings, you could have perfect stabilization,” said Hogg on his YouTube channel.
Suresh Raina wants Kohli to stick to number 3 position
Former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina asserted that Virat Kohli‘s return to T20Is bolsters India’s experience. He advocated for Kohli retaining the No. 3 batting position, unlike Brad Hogg’s suggestion. He believed the right-handed batter’s presence as the anchor would facilitate stroke-makers like Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rinku Singh to express themselves freely. Raina’s perspective highlighted the diverse opinions within cricketing circles regarding Kohli’s role in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
”I think Kohli should bat at No. 3. His experience will bring some solidity, especially in the challenging pitches in the US and the Caribbean. There are fearless, young cricketers like Jaiswal, Rinku Singh or Shubman Gill, but Rohit and Kohli will give the unit a lot of solidity. Their presence is very important when we chase a target, especially in a high-pressure event like the World Cup,” said Raina as quoted by India Today.