The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is still four months away, but already many experts, fans, and critics have started to make all sorts of possible combinations on what the ideal playing XI will look like for India and other teams. Aakash Chopra feels KL Rahul will open instead of Virat Kohli at the top at the global event, while former Australia player Brad Hogg believes Indian skipper Kohli will partner Rohit Sharma at the top in the T20 World Cup.
Kohli, in a post-match presentation during the five-match T20I series against England, spoke about his willingness to continue opening in the subsequent Indian Premier League (IPL) and during the T20 World Cup. Now, Hogg too believes that Kohli should open so that the rest of the batters can bat freely without any sort of pressure.
“My Indian team going into the T20 World Cup would have Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opening the batting. I might be a bit harsh on Shikhar Dhawan but they need some attacking players in the middle-order and so they need to push Kohli up the order.”
Brad Hogg’s picks India’s middle-order
The former bowler slots Suryakumar Yadav at number three, due to the brilliant start to his international career, while at number four, he picked KL Rahul.
“I have Suryakumar Yadav, a youngster to international cricket, at No.3. I think his versatility is going to add a bit of spice to that batting line-up. KL Rahul is the prime runner for the No.4 spot,” he asserted.
“Coming in at No.5 is Rishabh Pant and I would keep him as a floater. If there is a wicket falling in the seventh over, I would send him up the order at dominate against spin. I would have Hardik Pandya at No.6 and Ravindra Jadeja at No.7.”
Picking his bowlers, Hogg said, “If Kuldeep Yadav does well in Sri Lanka, having a left-arm wrist-spinner could be a point of difference. But at the moment, Chahal is the number one spinner. Someone like a Thakur could get an opportunity due to his explosive batting and he is also good in the powerplay and at the death. Then you got Bhuvi and then Bumrah.”
Brad Hogg’s XI: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah