Aakash Chopra.
Aakash Chopra. Image Credit: X

The former opening batter of the Indian team, Aakash Chopra has left out the openers of the national team- Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli from the list of the most explosive opening pair of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, in the West Indies and United States of America (USA).

In the four games, including the ‘super eight’ clash against Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval, in Bridgetown, Barbados, the India captain has managed 76 runs at a strike rate of 111.76, with the best score of unbeaten 52 runs against Ireland in New York.

The highest run-getter in the history of the tournament, Virat Kohli too has been going through a rough patch where he has scored only 29 runs, in four innings, at a strike rate of 87.87. He was set in Barbados, but couldn’t capitalize after getting to 24 at run-a-ball.

‘I am actually going with Phil Salt and Jos Buttler’- Aakash Chopra

The former India player Aakash Chopra feels that India doesn’t have the luxury of going with an explosive opening pair in the 20-over tournament, as he ruled out Rohit and Kohli from the list.

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When asked about picking the most aggressive opening stand of the ongoing competition, he feels both the India openers have the ability, but they haven’t fired in this tournament yet.

‘Unfortunately, I won’t be able to put Rohit and Virat’s name on that list because they are not even consistent as of now, and secondly, they are definitely not explosive if you see it from that perspective.’ The former India player Aakash Chopra expressed this on his YouTube channel. ‘Both have the ability – yes, but are they currently – no.’

He went with the explosive opening pair of Phil Salt and Jos Buttler in the England side while mentioning that Australia’s David Warner and Travis Head are not too far on the list.

‘So, from a very unbiased point of view, I feel they are not on this list. So, Phil Salt with Jos Buttler, and David Warner with Travis Head will remain. It’s an incredibly close fight.’ The renowned commentator Aakash Chopra remarked in the video. ‘I am actually going with Phil Salt and Jos Buttler, although Travis Head and David Warner are equally dangerous.’

In the tournament so far, Salt has managed 158 runs in five innings, at a strike rate of 177.52, while his captain Buttler has nailed 108 runs at a strike rate of 131.70, in this T20 World Cup 2024.

The Delhi-batter was impressed with the way Salt batted against the West Indies, where his incredible unbeaten knock of 87 runs, thanks to seven fours and five sixes, helped the side to get over the line, at the Darren Sammy National Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia.

‘There are two left-handers on one side and two right-handers on the other. I still remember the amazing knock Phil Salt played against the West Indies, although Travis Head also destroyed Bangladesh recently. Both (pairs) are in good form and are playing well.’ Aakash Chopra observed.

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He also pointed out that India could come up against both of these two opening pairs in their upcoming two games, which suggests that the veteran has predicted India will take on England in the second semi-final of the competition.

‘Both are good opening partnerships and both at some stage will play against us for sure.’ Aakash Chopra concluded. ‘The Australian ones will be seen playing on the 24th and maybe the England ones in the semi-final on the 27th, but I feel Jos Buttler-Phil Salt. I am going with them.’

India’s next game in the super-eight stage of the tournament is against Bangladesh on June 22, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.