Rohit Sharma as 'floater' against Ireland; Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal to open in Wasim Jaffer's Team India top-order | Crickit
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Rohit Sharma as 'floater' against Ireland; Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal to open in Wasim Jaffer's Team India top-order

Jun 05, 2024 06:38 PM IST

The former India stars debated the side's opening lineup in the T20 World Cup opener against Ireland.

Team India will begin its campaign at the T20 World Cup on Wednesday when the side faces Ireland in New York. The side will aim for a strong start after decimating Bangladesh by 60 runs in its only warm-up match last week; however, one of the key talking points ahead of India's opener has been the side's batting order.

India's skipper Rohit Sharma plays a shot during a practice session ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup opener against Ireland, in New York on Tuesday(Surjeet Yadav)
India's skipper Rohit Sharma plays a shot during a practice session ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup opener against Ireland, in New York on Tuesday(Surjeet Yadav)

With Virat Kohli being absent from India's warm-up match against Bangladesh, Sanju Samson opened the batting alongside captain Rohit Sharma. It is highly unlikely that Samson will retain the spot, and with Yashasvi Jaiswal being the other opening option, speculations are rife over India's top two as the side prepares for the Ireland clash.

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Former India cricketers Wasim Jaffer and Sanjay Manjrekar had a debate on India's opening options, with both presenting different views. While Jaffer believes that Jaiswal should open alongside Kohli, Manjrekar insisted that it would be highly unlikely for India to field any other combination than Rohit and Kohli.

“I would've gone for Yashasvi Jaiswal and Virat Kohli purely because you want Kohli to open, and Yashasvi gives you that tremendous run-scoring momentum. He's not been in his best form, but he gives you that edge by being a left-hander at the top of the order. The combination is my opening partnership,” Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.

Manjrekar said the Indian team management is “shackled” with the presence of the senior duo of Rohit and Kohli in the squad.

“I would've loved to have Jaiswal opening if Rohit and Virat weren't in the squad. Now that you have Rohit and Virat in the squad, the Indian team management is shackled in a way that they have to back those two players at no.1 and 2. Because the best use of Rohit and Virat will be made in that position. Considering the kind of pitches being made in New York, it also makes cricketing sense for Virat at the top. You need batters with Test pedigree,” said Manjrekar.

Rohit as floater

According to Jaffer, the Indian captain has the “Test pedigree” and can also be played as a floater, depending on the match situation.

“If you lose an early wicket, I'd probably send Rohit Sharma at no.3. If you get a good partnership, Suryakumar Yadav comes in. Rohit has got the Test pedigree so he can play both games, I would keep him as a floater. That was the idea,” Jaffer said.

Following the match against Ireland on Wednesday, Team India will face arch-rivals Pakistan in a blockbuster match on Sunday (June 9).

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