Suresh Raina backs Yashasvi Jaiswal as opener for T20Is against Afghanistan

Former cricketer Suresh Raina endorses Yashasvi Jaiswal as an opening batsman for India in the T20Is against Afghanistan.

With India’s head coach Rahul Dravid confirming Yashasvi Jaiswal’s inclusion as the opening batsman alongside captain Rohit Sharma for the T20Is against Afghanistan, former left-handed batter Suresh Raina has expressed his support for the move. Raina suggests that having an attacking left-handed opener like Jaiswal is advantageous for India’s aggressive batting approach in the power-play overs.

Since his T20I debut in August 2023 against West Indies, Jaiswal has showcased a remarkable power-play strike rate of 158.69 in 14 innings. Raina emphasizes the left-right batting combination’s strategic importance and believes that Jaiswal’s fearless batting style can put opposition bowlers under pressure during the initial overs.

In a virtual media interaction, Raina stated, “I think Yashasvi should open the innings, as the left-right batting combination at the top becomes very crucial. He plays with a lot of fearlessness, and the quality he has in his shots is something which we all have seen in recent times.”

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Acknowledging the potential opening combination of Rohit and Jaiswal, Raina sees it as a positive move that will provide valuable insights to coach Rahul Dravid regarding the team’s batting order. He highlights the advantages of having both aggressive batters at the top, creating challenges for bowlers by constantly changing their lines and lengths.

As for the batting order in Virat Kohli’s absence for the series opener in Mohali, Raina anticipates Shubman Gill batting at three. However, once Kohli rejoins the team, Raina expects him to bat at number three, providing solidity to the batting order.

Raina emphasizes the importance of experienced players like Rohit and Kohli in the T20 team, especially considering the challenging conditions and pitches expected at the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies in June. He believes that their vast experience in this format will significantly contribute to India’s strength and benefit the younger players in the team.

Regarding the spin-bowling department, Raina suggests that India can choose between Ravi Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav, depending on the team’s plan for utilizing Axar Patel. With the spin options of Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, and left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, Raina sees the Afghanistan series as crucial for gaining clarity on the desired spin combination.

In conclusion, Raina expresses confidence in India’s chances at the T20 World Cup with the return of experienced players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. He believes that their presence will provide strength to the team and benefit the youngsters, ultimately enhancing India’s prospects in the tournament.

-IANS