During the IPL 2022, Royal Challengers Bangalore starman Virat Kohli had started the tournament batting at number 3. But after averaging only 19 in 8 matches at that position, Kohli was promoted to open. That move, though, didn’t change much: as an opener this season, in 8 matches Kohli averaged 27 but had a poor strike rate of 112.
Kohli recently ended a disastrous England tour where he couldn’t cross 20 in any of the 6 innings he batted in. His T20 form – his tempo and method – has been a worry for a long time now.
This has prompted suggestions from a section of fans and experts whether the Indian management could also look to shift Kohli to the opening position as that may help the 33-year-old regain his form.
Should Virat Kohli open for India in T20Is?
In fact, Ponting has suggested that Kohli believes in himself, works even harder and recalls the processes that made him dominate the previous decade.
“Moving him around, to me, will make him feel that people are worried about him, and he will be more unsettled. I will be going the other way,” Ponting told ‘The ICC Review’.
“I’ll be telling him, ‘This is your spot [number 3], this is where you’re batting, it’s not going to change. Keep believing in yourself, keep putting in the hard work, keep understanding what made you the best player in the world for a number of years. Get back to those thoughts and the runs will come.'”
Ponting also explained that asking Kohli to bat as an opener will mean someone else will have to make room up there and bat out of their position, and that, the Australian great feels, could be counterproductive to the Indian team’s plans ahead of the T20 World Cup.
“They probably should be trying to find new ways to get him back into the form and help him out but that [giving him the opening spot] quite often comes at the expense of someone else as well. You are moving someone else around trying to find a spot for Virat. He has opened the batting, he’s batted at No.3 in the IPL in the last couple of years and done the same for India,” Ponting asserted his point.
Virat Kohli has taken rest from the West Indies tour – which comprises 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is – but there are reports stating that he will tour Zimbabwe next month for a 3-ODI series which will precede the Asia Cup.