‘If Kohli becomes slow…’: Ex-India star's crucial advice for Rahul Dravid | Crickit
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'If Kohli becomes slow against...': Ex-India star's crucial advice for Dravid ahead of AFG T20Is

By, New Delhi
Jan 10, 2024 09:25 PM IST

The former India cricketer opened up about Virat Kohli's batting position in the Afghanistan series. Kohli will miss the 1st T20I.

Former India skipper Virat Kohli is set to miss the series opener between Rohit Sharma's men and Afghanistan in Mohali on Thursday. The spotlight was on Kohli and Rohit Sharma as the batting icons of the Men In Blue were drafted to the Indian squad for the shortest format after 14 months. Kohli and Rohit last played a T20I match for India at the 2022 World Cup.

India's Virat Kohli with head coach Rahul Dravid during a warmup session (PTI)
India's Virat Kohli with head coach Rahul Dravid during a warmup session (PTI)

The 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final between India and England was the last time when the duo played a game together in the shortest format. Speaking at the traditional press conference in the lead-up to the 1st T20I against Afghanistan, Indian head coach Dravid confirmed that Rohit and Co. will miss Kohli's services. Kohli is unavailable for the series opener due to personal reasons.

ALSO READ: Virat Kohli to miss 1st T20I against Afghanistan due to personal reasons, confirms Rahul Dravid

However, the former India skipper is expected to feature in the 2nd and 3rd T20Is against Afghanistan. Will Kohli open with Rohit when he returns to the Indian side for the series decider against Afghanistan, or will the veteran take up the No.3 spot? Former India opener Aakash Chopra has shared his views about the batting role of the 35-year-old prior to the start of the three T20Is.

'Kohli is at his best in T20s when he opens'

"In my opinion, Kohli is at his best in T20s when he opens the innings and bats in the powerplay overs. If you don’t give him that option and if he becomes a little slow against spinners, then it wouldn’t be surprising. That’s because it has happened regularly. So, will Kohli open? I don’t think so. I feel one of either Yashasvi (Jaiswal) or (Shubman) Gill will play. Gill is a senior player so he may play and Yashasvi will have to sit out. It won’t be fair, but that can happen. I see Kohli batting at No. 3," Chopra told JioCinema.

'No one takes them lightly'

While India are missing the services of Kohli for the 1st T20I, visitors Afghanistan are without star all-rounder Rashid Khan. The spin wizard is recovering from a lower back injury that required surgery. Talking about Afghanstan's bid to upstage India, the former India opener asserted that the giant killers are a force to be reckoned with, especially in the limited-overs format. “No one takes them lightly. During the ODI World Cup they showed that they are a force to be reckoned with. And this team excels in the T20 format. Almost all their players will be featuring in the IPL. It’s a very decent team. Of course, India will start as firm favourites,” Chopra added.

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