Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer wants senior Indian batter Virat Kohli to bat at No. 4 from his No. 3 spot in the batting order for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 clash against Pakistan. Jaffer also added that he would prefer having Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan as the openers, with Shubman Gill batting at No. 3 as well.
Speaking about India’s batting order, Wasim Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo: “If I had to pick the top four, I would go with Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan as openers, Shubman Gill at three, and Virat Kohli at four. Then Shreyas Iyer at five, Hardik Pandya at six, and Ravindra Jadeja at seven. I will probably go with Shardul Thakur just to make the batting a little longer. While you want to play your best three seamers, I think with Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah, and with Hardik Pandya bowling, we have got the bases covered. I personally don’t want the batting to finish at seven.”
However, highlighting the key matchups for the contest, Wasim Jaffer stated that how India’s top-order batters tackle the Pakistani bowlers early on will be crucial as that is going to decide the fate. Notably, the Group A fixture between India and Pakistan in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 will take place at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on September 2.
“Rohit Sharma vs Shaheen Afridi is the obvious one, but how Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill play against the Pakistani bowlers will be very important. How the Indian top order bats in the first 15-20 overs will be crucial,” he added.
Wasim Jaffer further said that India should not play Mohamed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah together in the playing XI, considering they are not handy with the bat. He also added that Pakistan, on the other hand, have the likes of Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah, who are capable of batting lower down the order.
“For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi can bat a bit, Naseem Shah has won games on his own,” Wasim Jaffer concluded. “India don’t have that. Mohammed Shami can bat, but not like Shaheen Afridi. In 50-over cricket, your tail needs to bat a little bit. Considering that, I think it will be difficult to pick Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah together.”