Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly.
Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly. Image Credit: X

Former India leader and the current ‘Director of Cricket’ for the Delhi Capitals Sourav Ganguly feels that India should aim to open with Virat Kohli in the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2026, set to take place in the West Indies and the United States of America (USA).

Kohli is currently the highest run-getter of the ongoing IPL 2024, with 634 runs in 12 innings at an average of 70.44 and a strike rate of 153.31 with five half-centuries and one century.

“Virat (Kohli) is playing exceptionally well. The way Kohli batted last night (May 09)- 90 in a quick time, you need to use him as an opener in the T20 World Cup,’ the former captain said in an interview with the PTI.

“He should open, evidenced by his last few IPL innings which have been outstanding,” he added.

‘The Best players will adjust to all formats’- Sourav Ganguly brought Kohli’s example

According to the former left-hand batter, India have picked up a balanced squad for the world event, which could end India’s drought of an ICC Trophy after 11 years.

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“This is an excellent squad. I think they have picked the best possible squad. Apart from batting depth, bowling looks excellent,’’ Sourav Ganguly remarked. 

“Bumrah is the best fast bowler in the world at the moment. We have experience in Kuldeep, Axar, Siraj. It’s an ideal combination we have this time,” the ‘Prince of Calcutta’ told in the interview.

This IPL 2024 has made the batters enjoy their time in the middle, as 250-runmark has been breached quite easily, while the 200-runs have been par. The 51-year-old also believes that the trend will continue even in the future.

“This is going to be the trend in the years to come. T20 cricket has become a power-oriented game and that’s what it is going to be.”

He also spoke about how the captain of the Rajasthan Royals, and the second wicket-keeper of the India team for the World Cup, Sanju Samson commented that there would be no time settle down in this modern T20, and one just need to look at hitting from the very first delivery.

Sourav Ganguly also trusts that the ‘Impact player rule’ and the mindset of the batters have been the reason behind the huge sixes in the powerplay in this generation of T20s.

‘Now, in IPL we are seeing scores like 240, 250 regularly. The main reasons are good batting wickets and the grounds are also not big in India,” the veteran pointed out.

“In the last game between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan (Royals), 26 sixes were hit in a 40-over game, which is almost one six every over.

‘That’s how this game has gone and that’s how the players have started approaching the game. The Impact Player rule, where every team has the possibility of adding another batsman, has also added another dimension to it,” Sourav Ganguly said.

‘I don’t know’- Ganguly on KL Rahul – Sanjiv Goenka altercation

Jasprit Bumrah has picked up 18 wickets in 12 games at an economy of 6.20 in this current IPL 2024. By a huge margin, that’s too much ahead of how the other bowlers have performed. Ganguly felt that the bowlers need to develop their skills to counter the batters in T20s.

The bowlers need to be really more skillful, we have some skillful bowlers around, to be more successful.’

The former opener advised, “Look at Bumrah, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, all of them bowl superbly in all formats of the game and in the IPL.”

He also spoke about how players need to upskill themselves to be successful in all the formats.

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“Not at all. Demands of different formats are different. Look at Virat Kohli… the best players will adjust to all formats,” the Delhi Capitals ‘Director of Cricket further maintained.

Sourav Ganguly also avoided himself from commentating on the heated argument between Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul and their team owner Sanjiv Goenka.

“It’s not fair for me to make a comment based on a TV grab. I don’t know what Sanjiv had spoke to Rahul. So, I leave it at that,” Sourav Ganguly concluded.