India forced themselves to open up with Kohli and Rohit, says Manjrekar in damning speech on 'a decision that didn't work'

The T20 World Cup begins on Sunday with the United States, co-hosts, facing Canada. India, meanwhile, will play a warm-up match against Bangladesh on Saturday in what will be their first competitive experience since they began training in New York. India will be led by captain Rohit Sharmawith who Virat Kohlimade his first T20I appearance earlier this year since India's defeat in the semi-final of the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have had contrasting fortunes in IPL 2024.

Yashasvi Jaiswal He is widely expected to play a role in India's top order in the tournament, either as Rohit's opening partner or at number 3. However, the former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar thinks Jaiswal will have to sit out completely and India will open with Rohit and Kohli, a combination that is not ideal for him.

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“Ideally, I wouldn’t have chosen this path,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying by Star Sports. “I would have settled for a slightly younger core of players. But the selectors are committed to the icons, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

“Now that they are in the team, there is no way Virat Kohli will be batting at number 3 because then you don't get the full value from Virat. And Rohit Sharma also has to open. So India, in a way, forced themselves to have only one type of combination, two right-handers Unfortunately, Jaiswal will have to sit out,” he said.

“I would have left completely with a new batch”

Manjrekar said Indian selectors have relied on seniority and experience, which he said is a tactic that has not worked for India in the past. “I would have gone for a whole new batch; then you would have had a lot more flair and it would be something different. India put their faith in seniors, a decision which has not worked over the years. Hopefully it will work this time,” he said.

Kohli and Rohit have had rather contrasting performances in IPL 2024. Kohli has scored 741 runs in 15 matches and has adopted a remarkably more aggressive style than in previous seasons. This meant he ended up with a strike rate of 154.69, the highest he had ever managed in an IPL season and it was only the second time he finished a season with a strike rate above 145. Kohli scored five half-centuries and a century and was the highest run-scorer of the tournament as RCB managed a remarkable six-game winning streak to reach the playoffs.

Rohit, on the other hand, scored 417 runs at a strike rate of 150.00 and an average of 32.08. He scored a century and a half. Like Kohli, this is the highest strike rate that Rohit has managed to maintain in a season. MI managed to win only four matches out of 14 and finished bottom of the table.

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