Simon Doull backs Virat and Rohit to open the innings in India’s opener against Ireland in the 2024 T20 World Cup

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in Indian jersey
Rohit Sharma (c) and Virat Kohli are expected to feature in India's opening match against Ireland
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in Indian jersey
Rohit Sharma (c) and Virat Kohli are expected to feature in India’s opening match against Ireland

While approaching the Indian Cricket team’s opening match in the 2024 T20 World Cup against Ireland, legendary Kiwi cricketer Simon Doull picked Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma as India’s opening pair for the match. Until now, the veteran batting duo have opened for India only once in the T20Is, which was against England back in 2021. 

Captain Rohit Sharma has been the first-choice opener for India for quite a few years now in the shortest format. While Virat Kohli started out as an automatic No. 3 choice in the India batting line-up, he also had the opportunity to open the innings nine times for India in the shortest format. 

Talking to Cricbuzz on the eve of the India-Ireland clash, Simon Doull said, 

“My team would have Virat and Rohit opening the batting. They are the two best players to do that at this point of time and Rishabh Pant for a point of difference at 3 as a left-hand option. SKY at 4 and then you have Dube, Hardik and Jadeja at 5, 6 and 7. It just sits quite nicely for me and the Indian line-up. If they go down that road, I think it’s the best way.”  


Fortunately for the Indian Cricket team, Virat Kohli had a successful campaign as an opener for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru franchise in the recently concluded IPL 2024. Scoring a mammoth 741 runs at a staggering average of 61.75, with a strike rate of 154.69, Virat finished the season as the leading run-scorer thereby grabbing the coveted Orange cap. 

However, upon hearing rumours about Yashasvi Jaiswal being first at the net practice, Doull said, “I’ve heard rumours today that Jaiswal was the first into the nets. They’ve given him plenty of opportunity. That would surprise me if they bring him in. Who do they leave out? Shivam Dube? That would surprise me a touch.”  

Jaiswal possesses an impressive record as an opener for India in the T20Is. In the 17 T20I matches that he has represented India, Jaiswal holds an average of 33.46 with a blistering strike rate of 161.93. However, the left-handed batter had a relatively dull season at the IPL 2024 averaging only 31.07 in 15 innings, with only two 50+ scores to his name. 

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