Virat Kohli and Ricky Ponting. Photo- Twitter
Virat Kohli and Ricky Ponting. Photo- Twitter

Virat Kohli should open for India along with Rohit Sharma in the T20 World Cup 2024, opined former Australia captain Ricky Ponting in an interview with the ICC.

With the Men’s T20 World Cup just around the brink, there is a lot of talk about the Indian cricket team’s selections and strategy, as well as who should be in their XI for the tournament opener against Ireland on June 5 in New York.

While Kohli has been in excellent form as an opener for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the ongoing Indian Premier League, scoring a tournament-high 708 runs from 14 innings, concerns have been raised regarding his strike rate at the top of the batting order.

While Kohli has primarily batted at No.3 for India in the shortest format in the past, Ponting thinks the 35-year-old will be best served opening the batting alongside skipper Rohit Sharma at the T20 World Cup.

“They (selectors) have still got a decision to make because (Yashasvi) Jaiswal is in that squad and one thing they haven’t got a lot in their team is left-hand batters. So they’ve got a decision to make with Jaiswal, but I’m pretty sure that they’ll go with Kohli and Rohit Sharma (as openers),” Ponting told ICC.

“It’s Funny With Virat Kohli, People In India Try To Find Ways Not To Pick Him”- Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting also lambasted Virat Kohli’s detractors, claiming that the Indian batter’s job in the national team is still very important in Twenty20 Internationals. The two-time World Cup-winning captain stated that Kohli remains his first choice for the Indian team in the shorter format.

This comes after Virat Kohli faced a lot of criticism in the IPL 2024 due to his strike rate against spinners after the powerplay overs. Kohli has scored 708 runs in 14 matches, averaging 64.36 and striking at 155.60.

Ponting stated that with great hitters like Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav in the Indian team, Kohli can afford to play his natural game at the top of the order.

“It’s funny with Virat. I think people in India just always try to find a reason not to pick him or a reason why he’s maybe not as good as some of those other guys in the T20 game. He (Kohli) is the first pick for me for India. He can play his role at the top. And if you’ve got the right guys around him scoring (like) Suryakumar (Yadav) and Rohit Sharma’s going to have a high strike rate. These other guys can go in there and play their way,” Ponting told ICC.

Also Read: “I’d Probably Go For Rishabh Pant” – Yuvraj Singh Picks Wicket-Keeper He Wants For Team India In 2024 T20 World Cup