Virat Kohli Likely to Bat at No. 3 in T20I Against Afghanistan: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra suggests Virat Kohli may bat at No. 3 in the T20I series against Afghanistan, the return of Kohli and Sharma for the 2024 T20 World Cup.

Renowned cricket analyst Aakash Chopra suggests that Virat Kohli may bat at number three in the T20I series opener against Afghanistan, despite his proficiency as an opening batter. Kohli, along with Captain Rohit Sharma, is making a comeback to India’s T20I team for the series starting on Thursday in Mohali. This return places them back in contention for the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies, scheduled from June 1-29. The Afghanistan series serves as India’s final T20I preparation before the World Cup.

Chopra acknowledges Kohli’s excellence when opening the innings in T20s, especially during powerplay overs. However, he speculates that Kohli might not open in the Afghanistan series, predicting that either Yashasvi Jaiswal or Shubman Gill could secure a spot, with Kohli likely batting at No. 3. Chopra highlights the challenge if Kohli faces spinners without the freedom of powerplay overs, potentially affecting his scoring pace.

While emphasizing India’s status as firm favorites, Chopra cautions against underestimating Afghanistan in T20Is, citing their impressive performance in the ODI World Cup. He believes the Afghanistan team, featuring players set to participate in the IPL, is formidable in the T20 format.

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Looking ahead to the Afghanistan series, Chopra highlights key questions for India, including Rohit’s performance, Kohli’s form continuation from 2023, opening partnerships, and the potential inclusion of Shivam Dube.

Considering the playing conditions in Mohali, Chopra suggests that chasing will be preferable due to the expected dew factor in the evening. He anticipates a flat pitch, conducive to high scores, with the dew making the ball wet in the later stages of the match.

IANS