India’s big conundrum at the top: Who replaces Rohit and Kohli in T20Is? « Khabarhub
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India’s big conundrum at the top: Who replaces Rohit and Kohli in T20Is?

30 June 2024  

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KATHMANDU: The departures of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli from the T20I format soon after India’s win in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 leaves a big void at the top.

After years of service to the Indian side, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli retired from the T20I format after victory in the ninth edition of the T20 World Cup.

Rohit (4231 runs) ends his career as the highest run-getter in the T20Is, with Kohli (4188 runs) at the second place.

Given their immense contribution to Indian cricket in the format, it won’t be easy to find their replacements.

However, India must identify new players soon, as the next edition of the tournament is only two years away.

We look at the possible batters who can come into the top order to replace this iconic duo.

Yashasvi Jaiswal

Matches 17, Runs 502, Average 33.46, Strike-rate 161.93, Highest Score 100

The dynamic southpaw opener was an understudy to Rohit and Kohli in India’s T20 World Cup-winning squad.

In less than a year since his international debut, Jaiswal has firmly established himself as a reputable opener.

Jaiswal provides solidity at the top while also scoring runs at a brisk pace.

A heavy run-scorer, he has succeeded in various conditions, from West Indies to South Africa.

His inclusion would also ensure a left-right combination at the top.

Shubman Gill

Matches 14, Runs 335, Average 25.76, Strike-rate 147.57, Highest Score 126*

The classy right-handed batter has been a regular in the Indian white-ball setup over the last few years and was Rohit’s opening partner in the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

A safe option at the top, Gill stands out for his propensity to find gaps along the ground early in his innings and has a solid backfoot play at his disposal.

Though the batter couldn’t find a place in India’s squad for this edition of the Men’s T20 World Cup, he leads the side in their upcoming tour of Zimbabwe.

In the five T20Is, he can showcase his skills as the skipper and also with the bat, to lay a strong claim at the vacant top-order spot.

Abhishek Sharma

Yet to play international cricket

A member of the U19 World Cup-winning squad in 2018, Abhishek Sharma was always renowned for his attacking strokeplay.

However, it was in the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that the left-handed batter truly stood out.

Partnering with Australia’s Travis Head, Abhishek provided explosive starts for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

He scored 484 runs from his 16 appearances at a whopping strike rate of 204.21.

In recent years, India have found themselves on the back foot in decent batting conditions, wherein their scoring rates have often not matched up against the likes of England or Australia.

Abhishek’s all-out attacking play can resolve their batting approach, with his slow left-arm spin an added bonus.

KL Rahul

Matches 72, Runs 2265, Average 37.75, Strike-rate 139.12, Highest Score 110*

KL Rahul might have dropped off the selector’s radars since the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup but the 32-year-old is the most experienced top-order batter in the Indian circuits after the departure of Rohit and Kohli.

With a vast array of strokes at his disposal, Rahul is a top-notch option with the bat.

There is little stopping Rahul when he gets going and is also an added option behind the stumps.

The player is also a performer on big occasions, as he showed during his run in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, where he scored 452 runs at an average of 75.33.

Ruturaj Gaikwad

Matches 19, Runs 500, Average 35.71, Strike-rate 140.05, Highest Score 123*

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s name might get lost in the sea of openers available in the international and IPL circuit for India, but the right-handed batter has been in and around the squad over the last couple of years.

A watchful starter, Gaikwad can pick up his scoring rate prodigiously once he gets his eye in.

Like some others on this list, Gaikwad has an opportunity to seal a regular spot during India’s tour of Zimbabwe.

Ishan Kishan

Matches 32, Runs 796, Average 25.67, Strike-rate 124.37, Highest Score 89

Going with Ishan Kishan can help the side keep the left-right combination going.

With explosive shots at his disposal, Kishan can provide a quickfire start while his keeping is a bonus.

Not a part of the Indian squad at present, Kishan is still a quality option with plenty of international experience.

If his performances catch the selectors’ eyes, Kishan will be an invaluable addition to the setup.

Publish Date : 30 June 2024 15:18 PM

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