Simon Doull. PC- Twitter
Simon Doull. PC- Twitter

The idea of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as India’s opening pair at the T20 World Cup may just have to wait as per Simon Doull, the former New Zealand pacer. India is set to play its first match of the tournament against Ireland on June 5, 2024, in New York.

Virat Kohli’s strong performance in the IPL and Yashasvi Jaiswal’s struggles led to speculation about a new opening combination for the T20 World Cup. The belief was reinforced on Sunday when Jaiswal did not play in India’s warm-up game against Bangladesh, and Sanju Samson faced the new ball alongside Rohit.

The Rohit-Kohli opening tandem appeared to be a sure-fire combination for India, but a recent development could put a wrench in the works. Former New Zealand quick Simon Doull feels the Rohit-Kohli pair may have to wait due to a rumour he just heard about Jaiswal.

Doull produced another surprise by endorsing Rishabh Pant to bat at No. 3 for India, followed by Suryakumar Yadav at 4. The team tried this on Sunday.

My team would have Virat and Rohit opening the batting. They are the two best players to do that in 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,” Doull said on Cricbuzz.

“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 brought him in. Who do they leave out? Shivam Dube? That would surprise me a touch,” he added.

Panting at 3 is not something many people, including team management, would have considered. He was always going to be India’s No. 5, but when Pant, playing his first match for the India Blues since December 2022, looked like a million bucks.

Simon Doull wants Rishabh Pant to bat at no.3

Pant at 3 remains a distant reality, with both Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav ahead in the pecking order. Doull, however, loved the idea of Pant batting at 3 and wouldn’t mind seeing it again against Ireland.

“It was just a way of getting him into that side and splitting up that middle-order combination of left-left-left. I didn’t know about Hardik Pandya at the start, so for me, it was where do I fit Rishabh Pant? Take away, let’s say, him, Dube and Jadeja… all batting at 5, 6 and 7. And just giving the top order a little point of difference. I’m pleased they gave it a chance against Bangladesh. It worked well. Will they go with it again? I think they should,” added Doull.

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2024: CSK’s Coach Compares Shivam Dube To Kapil Dev