'Kohli walks into India XI. But time has come for selectors to decide...': Former selector gives verdict on No.3 debate
- While Kohli faces a wretched run with the willow, Deepak Hooda has made the most of the limited opportunities, having scored a T20 century as well.
Virat Kohli remains one of the best players in world cricket despite his prolonged slump in world cricket. The star batter has not hit a century since 2019, leading to a massive public debate over his future with the national side. While some believe Kohli needs an extended break to find his lost mojo, others are of the opinion that the Indian should play regularly, especially when the World T20 is less than three months away. Also Read | 'Can't start with KL Rahul in such big tournament. Have kept him on standby because...': Ex-PAK star ahead of Asia Cup
While Kohli faces a wretched run with the willow, Deepak Hooda has made the most of the limited opportunities, having scored a T20 century as well. For the No.3 batting spot, Shreyas Iyer also remains in the competition despite blowing hot and cold in his recent spell.
Former national selector and Saba Karim believes Kohli walks into the eleven at the No.3 position, while Hooda or Iyer can emerge as backup options for the role.
"When Virat Kohli is available, he will naturally walk into the XI at No. 3. But the time has come for the selectors to decide who they want as a backup batter in the middle order. If they believe in Shreyas Iyer, then they should continue to play him and hope he gets back to his form. But if they are still experimenting, then it's the right time to play Hooda at No. 3. He can also be handy with the ball, which is a huge plus for Team India," he said on India News Sports.
Kohli is likely to be back for the Asia Cup, but it remains to be seen whether the team management gives chances to Hooda or Iyer. Even if both get picked for the tournament, the chances of them entering the final eleven look bleak at the moment.
Earlier, former batter Wasim Jaffer had also backed Kohli to regain his No.3 spot once he joins the Indian contingent. Jaffer slotted Kohli in the top-3 despite his mediocre form, and picked Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as his two openers.
"Virat will remain in his original No. 3 place in the team. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma should open, and other players like Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, and Ishan Kishan can contribute significantly to the squad. I feel that the aggressive approach that India has undertaken is very nice to witness. India's chances of winning (T20 World Cup) are bright," Jaffer said in the audio session of 'CricChat Powered by Parimatch' on the Sharechat app.