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T20 World Cup 2024

Ganguly: Kohli has the ability to hit a 40-ball century, should open in T20 World Cup

Ganguly wants Kohli to open
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Sourav Ganguly has thrown his weight behind Virat Kohli for the opener’s role at the 2024 T20 World Cup.

The 2024 T20 World Cup starts one week after the final of IPL 2024 and teams for the tournament are expected to be announced soon. Some reports suggest that the Ajit Agarkar-headed selection committee for the India team will name the squad towards the end of April.

One of the most hotly debated positions in the India side for the T20 World Cup is Kohli’s. Kohli has been phenomenal in almost every T20 World Cup he has played in, but there’s a school of thought which argues that his scoring isn’t quick enough, and that India should look at other young options.

Ganguly, the former BCCI chief, and current Delhi Capitals director of cricket, however, has backed Kohli for the opening slot along side Rohit Sharma. At a media event in Delhi, Ganguly downplayed the age-factor and talked up Kohli’s skills.

“The most important thing for India is to play without fear,” he said. “There is no hard and fast rule about age and playing youngsters in T20Is, James Anderson still plays Tests and bowls 30 overs in Tests, MS Dhoni still hits sixes and both are in their 40s.

“Six-hitting is important. Virat has got the capability to hit a 40-ball century. It is about playing fearlessly and freely in T20Is. It’s my personal opinion that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma should open for India in the T20 World Cup.

“India needs to go out and hit. Rohit, Virat, Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya etc. All of them are exceptional talents and their six-hitting abilities are tremendous.”

The former India captain also spoke about the importance of balancing youth and experience. He said, “There needs to be a balance of experience and youth. This is the case with great teams.

“You have to look at all the performances (in IPL and international both). The experienced players of India are tremendous because of the performances they have put up over the years.”

So far, both Rohit and Kohli have had a good season with the bat. While Rohit has scored 297 runs at a strike rate of 164, Kohli is leading the run-scorers’ chart with 379 runs at a strike rate of 150.39.

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