After a poor ODI series, Team India is gearing up for the three-match T20I series against Australia. And, the 1st India vs Australia T20I will be played at Manuka Oval in Canberra on December 4. And, there is a strong debate going on which two players will open the innings for Men in Blue in the shorter format in the absence of Hitman Rohit Sharma. Sunil Gavaskar, the former legendary Indian batsman has given his opinion over the same and picked India’s batting line-up for the 1st T20I.
In the ODI series, fans had expected that KL Rahul will open the innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan. But against the odds, Mayank Agarwal was given the opportunity in the first couple of games followed by Shubhman Gill in the final ODI. Meanwhile, former players also criticized the Indian skipper for playing KL Rahul at number 5 and not as an opener.
Sunil Gavaskar Picks His Opening Pair For The 1st T20I
Now in the T20I series, Team India has four dashing and hard-hitting openers in their squad with the likes of KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Sanju Samson, and Mayank Agarwal. All the mentioned players hogged the spotlight in the IPL 2020 on the back of their convincing performances. And, it is going to be a big headache for the India skipper to pick two between the four players.
Sunil Gavaskar has cleared the confusion for Virat Kohli to an extent. He said that KL Rahul was in remarkable form in IPL 2020 and scored nearly 700 runs for Kings XI Punjab. On the other hand, off late Shikhar Dhawan has also gained good momentum with the bat in the shorter format. The southpaw finished as the 2nd leading run-scorer of the tournament. He opined that Rahul and Shikhar should open the innings in the 1st T20I.
He asserted that if India’s opening pair stays till the 13th or 14th over then Hardik Pandya should come out to bat at number four in the powerplay in order to finish the innings on a high note. Sunil Gavaskar also added that if that doesn’t happen then Shreyas Iyer should come and bat at number 4.
“For me, KL Rahul, who scored nearly 700 runs in IPL, and Shikhar Dhawan, who has of late looked most comfortable in T20 format should open the innings followed by Virat Kohli.”
“If they stay till 14th or 15th over, then Hardik Pandya comes in at number four or if two wickets go in Powerplay, then Shreyas Iyer,” he added.