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Jaiswal should open with Rohit at T20 World Cup: Yuvraj

May 22, 2024 10:35 IST

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals opener Yashasvi Jaiswal has stroked 348 runs in 14 games at a strike rate of 152, with one century and a fifty in IPL 2024. Photograph: BCCI

India should use Yashasvi Jaiswal as skipper Rohit Sharma's opening partner in the T20 World Cup next month and play Rishabh Pant as the preferred wicketkeeper to ensure left-handed variety in their batting line-up, former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh said.

Virat Kohli has been in red-hot form as opener for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in IPL 2024 -- the highest run-getter with 708 runs from 14 matches.


Yuvraj preferred harnessing left-handed Jaiswal with right-handed Rohit at the top of the batting order to be followed by Kohli. Rajasthan Royals opener Jaiswal has stroked 348 runs in 14 games at a strike rate of 152, with one century and a fifty in IPL 2024.

Suryakumar Yadav, currently the top ranked T20 batter, is nearly certain to retain his number four slot.

"I think Rohit and Jaiswal should definitely open," Yuvraj, who was part of India's victorious T20 World Cup team in 2007, told the International Cricket Council.

"Virat has been batting at number three (in T20 internationals) and that's his position. You get Surya at four and then you got a couple of big options.

"I'd like to see a couple of left-hand, right-hand combinations because it is harder to bowl at two combinations all the time."

For the same reason, Yuvraj, a left-handed batter himself who famously hit England's Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over during the 2007 T20 World Cup, would pick Pant over Sanju Samson even though both wicketkeepers have been in great form in the IPL.

Samson has enjoyed his best IPL season, amassing 504 runs in 14 matches at an impressive strike rate of 156.32 while guiding his team to eight wins and a spot in the play-offs. On the other hand, Pant made a remarkable comeback after recovering from a near-fatal car accident that sidelined him for 14 months, with 446 runs in 13 matches at a strike rate of 155.40.

"I'd probably go for Rishabh," said Yuvraj, who is an ambassador of the June 1-29 showpiece in West Indies and the United States.

"Obviously Sanju is also in great form, but Rishabh (is a) left-hander, and I believe that Rishabh has massive potential to win games for India, which he has done in the past."

Yuvraj also gave his backing to India vice-captain Hardik Pandya, who struggled with his batting during the IPL, having scored only 216 runs in 14 matches.

“Well, the good thing is that the selection has been made. (Selectors see) how players have performed at international cricket and then they look at IPL form. Just not the IPL form," he said.

“Because if you look at the IPL form, Hardik’s not done well. Looking at his background for India, what he’s done for India, it is important that he’s in the squad. I think his bowling is going to be important, and his fitness is going to be important. And I think he might do something really special in this World Cup.”

Yuvraj believes CSK all-rounder Shivam Dube, who slammed 396 runs in 14 matches at a strike rate of 162.29 in IPL, could prove to be a key middle order batter for India.

"I just felt the kind of form he’s in, it was important for him to be in the squad. I really think he can make a huge difference in the middle order or the lower middle order, so it’s good to see him in the Indian T20 squad."

India begin their Group A campaign against Ireland on June 9 in New York and clash with arch-rivals Pakistan four days later.

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