Virat Kohli “Doesn’t Play In My Team If…”: Matthew Hayden’s Blunt Selection Message

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There continues to remain chatter around Virat Kohli’s role in T20 cricket© X (Twitter)

India’s marquee batter Virat Kohli has seen his place in the team being questioned time and again ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024. Though Virat was in superb form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 campaign for Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), it isn’t yet confirmed what role he will play for India in the T20 World Cup. For Matthew Hayden, Virat doesn’t warrant a place in his team, unless he decides to open. At present, both Kohli and Yashasvi Jaiswal are competing for the second opener’s spot in the Indian team.

“You have to have a left-right combination. You can’t have five right-handers in a row. Australia would just say hello to Zampa. Kohli has to open or he does not play in my team. He is in absolute red-hot form,” Hayden said on ESPNCricinfo.

The Australia legend also floated the idea of Rohit Sharma batting in the middle-order.

“Rohit is a versatile player and does not shy away from batting away in that middle order. He has a successful record in T20I cricket batting at No. 4 and he can lead the batting group from the early middle order,” he added.

Hayden isn’t the first one to suggest the India captain of a change in role, but it doesn’t look like the Hitman is in the frame of mind to do so.

Earlier, former India batter Suresh Raina had backed Virat to play at the No. 3 role in the T20 World Cup.

“I prefer Virat to play at No. 3 in the World Cup. He’s a run machine. Yashasvi is in good form, and I’m sure he will do well as an opener. With the pitches and conditions in the United States expected to be slow, in my opinion, Virat should play at No. 3,” Raina had told reporters during an event in Delhi.

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