Sourav Ganguly wants Virat Kohli to bat in T20 World Cup the way he did for RCB | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly wants Virat Kohli to open the batting alongside skipper Rohit Sharma in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup and play with complete freedom.
The ICC’s cricketing extravaganza is set to take place in the USA and the Caribbean from June 1 to 29.
Kohli had a remarkable 2024 IPL season where he opened the batting for Royal Challengers Bengaluru and ended the tournament with the Orange Cap.
The 35-year-old amassed 741 runs in 15 matches in the 17th edition of the league at an impressive average of 61.75 with a century and five fifties. His best score was an unbeaten 113 and his strike rate of 154.69 was the highest it has ever in a single IPL season.
Ganguly believes that Kohli playing with the same freedom he displayed in the second half of the IPL will be crucial for India’s success in the T20 World Cup.
“I would open with Virat and Rohit. I want Virat to bat the way he did for RCB in the second half of the IPL. He has to bat with freedom. Needless to say, he is a great player, but for India to do well, Virat will have to bat with freedom like he did in the IPL. So my choice would be Virat and Rohit at the top of the order,” Ganguly told Revsportz.
The former captain also praised wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who made a strong comeback to professional cricket after a serious car accident in December 2022.
Pant scored 446 runs at an average of 40.54 and a strike rate of 155.40 in the IPL while also claiming a joint-high 16 dismissals behind the stumps.
Ganguly highlighted Pant’s unique ability to find angles on the ground and expressed confidence in the 26-year-old’s potential to make a significant impact in the T20 World Cup.
“He is a very special talent. His keeping is good, but his batting really special. He is capable of picking some great angles in the ground, and that’s his USP. Not every player will be able to do that, you see. And that’s what makes Pant very important for India. He has worked very very hard to make this comeback and is hungry to do well. I am confident he will make a telling difference,” he added.
India will be looking to end their ICC trophy drought in the tournament, having last won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. Since then, the team has reached the finals and semifinals of various ICC events but has failed to secure a major trophy.
India will aim to win their first T20 World Cup title since their inaugural victory in 2007 in South Africa.
In the previous edition held in Australia in 2022, India was defeated by England in the semifinals by 10 wickets.
India T20 World Cup Squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.
(With inputs from ANI)


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