India’s preparation for the T20 World Cup will start on Tuesday as the Rohit Sharma-led side will take on Australia in a three-match T20I series. Ahead of the opener, former India opener Gautam Gambhir has said that heading into the big event, one should not focus on individual landmarks, and the entire focus should be on how valuable a contribution in terms of making the team win. Gambhir also said that KL Rahul has probably more ability than Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli.
“That’s a very valid point, the moment someone starts doing very well, for example, if Virat Kohli has got a hundred in the last game, we all start forgetting about what KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma has done over such a long period of time. And suddenly when you start this debate about Virat Kohli opening the batting, imagine what happens to KL Rahul, you don’t want your top class players to be under pressure, especially someone like KL Rahul, who’s got probably more ability than Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli. And we have seen that in international cricket and the IPL as well,” said Gambhir during a press conference organised by Star Sports Network.
“Think from India’s point of view and not from an individual’s point of view. So that’s why I think you (Hayden) made a very valid point that we as experts and broadcasters should start thinking about how India can flourish in the World Cup rather than certain individuals who particularly want to bat at a certain number,” he added.
Weighing in on whether Virat Kohli should open the batting in T20Is, former Australia opener Matthew Hayden said: “Virat, you know, he’s such a great player of fast bowling, and Australia’s full of fast bowling in their cricket team and they are relying heavily on Adam Zampa through the middle stages now. Pointers to take pace off the ball, Mitch Marsh as well, he’ll handle him nicely. And this great debate around Virat batting up, GG (Gambhir) and I have already had this over the last couple of days, there’s no way that he has to open the batting, he has to bat at number 3, simple as that.”
“And again, it’s another one of those things that you don’t want to let the door open the discussion on this. You don’t want to have a doubt, you don’t want to have KL Rahul in the masterful form that he’s been in of late and Rohit Sharma who is captain of the team thinking ‘I’ve got to kind of watch my spot here that you know I’m an opening batsmen and my job is to play with freedom’ and unfortunately, when you start having these debates and you start thinking ‘oh maybe he, for his game, it should be him opening’, I’m sure he wouldn’t want to entertain that and put pressure,” he added.