Will Rohit, Rahul, Virat be India’s top three ahead of T20 World Cup? | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: Their current form may not inspire confidence but skippers Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will be indispensable in India’s squad at the T20 World Cup in Australia but a change in their batting order could be considered for the benefit of the team, say the specialists.
While the IPL is an indicator of current form, but the National Selection Committee under Chetan Sharma at this point doesn’t even remotely harbor such thoughts, at least not yet.
However, one point that is up for debate is whether skipper Rohit, his deputy Rahul and team leadoff Kohli will occupy the top three spots in the batting order at the mega event, which will be played in Australia in October-November.

At the last World T20, their batting order did not turn out favorably and the top three approach was lightly criticized as all used quite similar styles of setting up first then attacking.
Since then, Rohit has changed his approach and has been seen playing hammers and pliers, although big runs have eluded the India and MI captain. Rohit would certainly like to improve on his 155 points in 9 games with a strike rate of 123.
Kohli’s dismal form has gone on for far too long now and 186 points in 10 games with a low strike rate of 116 is not indicative of the former skipper’s quality or caliber.
Rahul acts as an anchor for LSG and with 451 runs at an average of 145 he has been in a league of his own.

However, there is one worrying stat that Skipper Rohit and Coach Rahul Dravid will need to address before the Indian squad hit the road with around 15 T20Is lined up ahead of the World Cup.
The trio didn’t exactly set the Powerplay on fire (first six overs).
Example this.
In 10 games so far, Rahul has played 55 runs in Powerplay overs and compiled a total of 141 on 126 balls in those overs across games with a strike rate of 111.90. In those games in PP overs, he hit 15 fours and four sixes.
Rohit during that span played 56 power-play points in 9 games, scoring 136 on 104 balls at 130.76 strike rate.

In Kohli’s case, he hit Powerplay in seven games and went 16-point, but scored 61 points on 55 during the period.
The numbers show all three taking their time in the first six overs and maybe even all three playing, at least one – preferably Rahul can drop down the batting order and allow some rejig around Rohit and Virat.
So what do the pundits think of the line’s batting order? Former coach chairman MSK Prasad and his colleague Devang Gandhi had slightly differing views while former India analyst Deep Dasgupta had a completely different view.
“Those three are a must if they’re fit. There’s no way you can leave any of them for World T20. But yeah, if I look at the numbers I might just try somebody. ‘one like Shikhar Dhawan at the opening slot and check Rahul at No 4. He had a hundred T20s in Manchester a few years ago so why not,’ Prasad told PTI.
“But yes, I want Virat to have a meaningful break and before the Asian Cup he should be fresh, operational,” Prasad said.
For Gandhi, in a big tournament like the T20 World Cup, he doesn’t like experimenting too much and doesn’t want to make waves.
“They are your proven performers and when they play for India it is completely different from the roles they have for their franchises. Also when we talk about changes we should know who the replacements are? Are they good enough and better than those three in a pressure scenario in a game against Pakistan? You have to take that into account,” Gandhi said.
For Dasgupta, T20 is inherently a game that warrants a different philosophy and guiding principles.
“In Tests or ODIs, we normally find players, check them and assign them roles accordingly. In T20, you have to do the opposite. You decide roles first, then onboard players.
“They can still play the trio as numbers 1, 2 and 3, but there has to be a specific role that needs to be explained to them well before the tournament,” Dasgupta said.
Asked if a change is needed, Dasgupta believes Dhawan or Prithvi Shaw should be kept in the setup and can be tried if necessary.

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