Matthew Hayden explains why Virat Kohli should not open with Rohit Sharma at T20 World Cup 2024

May 10, 2024

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Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden has weighed in on the debate over India’s opening pair for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. Speaking with his daughter and Star Sports presenter Grace Hayden, the cricket legend explained his perspective on why Virat Kohli should not open the batting alongside Rohit Sharma.

Addressing the question of whether India should play Rohit and Virat as openers, Hayden was clear in his stance.

“No, they should not do that,” he stated. His reasoning is anchored in the strategic advantage of having a left-hand, right-hand combination at the top of the order, suggesting Yashasvi Jaiswal to partner with Rohit instead. “If you have to make a change in that combination, I would be very happy to open with Kohli as then I would slot Suryakumar Yadav at 3 and Rohit at No.4. And that top four, in my opinion, is the right combination,” Hayden explained.

The explanation comes as preparations ramp up for the T20 World Cup, which kicks off on June 2 in the US and the West Indies.

Also READ – ‘Most beautiful girl in the world’: Fans enthralled by Matthew Hayden’s daughter Grace’s appearance at Wankhede | IPL 2024

Hayden emphasized the tactical aspect of this batting lineup. “Virat is a master of the first six overs, and once the power hitting starts to come into play, there are other great options including Rohit Sharma,” he added. According to Hayden, Rohit’s impressive statistics when batting at number four could be better utilized than his traditional opening role.

Virat is currently showcasing formidable form in the ongoing IPL 2024, having scored 634 runs in 12 matches with a strike rate exceeding 150. This performance only adds weight to Hayden’s argument about Kohli’s versatility and impact in varying batting positions.

This year, India will be eager to recapture their early success in the Twenty20 World Cup, having only won the inaugural tournament in 2007 under MS Dhoni‘s captaincy. Despite reaching the final in 2014, India have struggled to clinch the title since.

As the world looks forward to another exciting edition of the T20 World Cup, strategies like those suggested by Hayden could very well determine the fate of cricketing giants on the global stage.

Also READ: West Indies legend Courtney Walsh weighs in on India’s spin combination for the T20 World Cup 2024

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