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Was It The Right Call Taken To Make Virat Kohli Open?

Even an in form batter – Virat Kohli- has been unable to find his feet in the ongoing ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup. The leading run-getter in the Twenty20 internationals before the start of the competition amassed 741 runs in 15 innings of the Tata-IPL_17, all as an opener, but in the three innings of the preliminary stage in New York, Kohli has been off-colour, making one run off five balls against Ireland, four off three balls against Pakistan and 0 off one ball against the USA. So he goes into the fourth match of the tournament – against Canada at Florida — facing a mere 10 balls and eager to get going before the start of the Super 8 stage phase of the World Cup in the West Indies. He has hit one boundary shot at the 34000-capacity Nassau County Stadium that’s dismantled after India’s third straight match there. The team’s think tank’s call to pair Rohit Sharma and Kohli as openers – to find balance in the playing XI — has not worked well so far. The champion batter has scored 405 runs as an opener (from 12 innings, including the three at Nassau) with one century and two fifties, but 3076 runs at No 3 with 32 fifties at No 3. He has also batted at numbers 4,5 and 6, but one-drop is his most productive position. His single-digit scores in the World Cup are the fourth in a row, dismissed as he was for 0 by Afghanistan in Bengaluru in January 2024. Kohli has disappointed New York, and the Pakistan captain Babar Azam has dislodged him from the top spot in the game’s shortest form.