T20 World Cup: Jaffer backs Rohit, Kohli to continue opening for India in Super 8

New Delhi: Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer has voiced his support for maintaining India’s opening batting pair of Virat Kohli and captain Rohit Sharma in the Super Eight stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup. Despite their lacklustre start in the tournament, Jaffer believes that the experienced duo will regain their form in the Super 8 fixtures, starting with their crucial match against Afghanistan in Barbados on June 20. Jaffer’s remarks come at a time when Kohli and Rohit have struggled to find their footing in the tournament. Kohli, who entered the World Cup riding high on his scintillating form in the IPL 2024, has managed only five runs across three innings. His highest score was a mere four runs against Pakistan. Similarly, Rohit has amassed just 68 runs in his three outings, with a single notable knock of 52 against Ireland. Speaking to Star Sports, Jaffer underscored the importance of sticking with the seasoned pair despite their recent struggles. “Now that you are stuck with both of them, I don’t think it’s gonna make sense because you’re gonna split both of them up,” Jaffer explained. “You might probably think of playing Yashasvi Jaiswal. That’s probably what you’re thinking, and then Rishabh Pant, who has done so well at number three, he has to bat even lower down the order, probably at number four. Then where does Suryakumar Yadav bat? So it’s going to mess up the whole batting order, so I think they’ll probably stick with that.” Jaffer emphasised that reshuffling the batting order could lead to further complications, disrupting the roles of key players like Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav. Pant, who has been effective at number three, and Yadav, who thrives higher up the order, could find their contributions hampered by such changes. “Rishabh has done well at number three. Suryakumar, you don’t want to bat him any lower than that, so I think they’ll stick with that. But yeah, they have to go really hard in the powerplay. We’ve seen when Australia have done that against England, they were so ahead in the powerplay, getting that 74 runs. That’s where you can make a mark. So Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the way they are batting, you could see that happen in the powerplay in West Indies.” India’s qualification to the Super Eight was sealed with a convincing seven-wicket win against co-hosts USA. As they prepare to face an in-form Afghanistan in their first match in the Caribbean, Men in Blue’s confidence in Kohli and Sharma’s ability to bounce back will be a crucial factor in their strategy.

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