ANI Photo | “I have a different opinion”: AB De Villiers on Virat Kohli opening in T20Is

Virat Kohli (Photo: ICC)

Johannesburg [South Africa], January 17 (ANI) Former South Africa skipper, AB De Villiers thinks that although the star India batter Virat Kohli has good record while opening but he should not open for India in the shortest format of the game.
While talking on his YouTube channel, the former South African batter states that Kohli will perform better at number three as he has the capability to anchor the innings and can build partnerships with the middle-order batters.
“I have a different opinion. For the most part of my international career, Virat batting at No. 3 was the biggest threat for us when we played against India. I’ve always felt like he was the glue of the team in the middle-order. No. 3 is not quite middle-order, it is top-order. But he is so good that he often combined with the middle-order, even down to tailenders. It’s just impossible to play against that,” De Villiers asserted.
The former Royal Challengers Bangalore player further opines that there is high chance of the 35-year-old getting dismissed on an unplayable delivery while opening.
“With a new ball, facing the first few deliveries there, I just think that the chances of getting a good delivery up front are so much better. I’m worried about that position. Even though the numbers don’t look bad, I have some other stats for you. When Virat faces the very first ball as an opener, his average is 23 and strike rate is 138. When he doesn’t face the first ball and is at the non-striker’s end, he averages 140 with a strike rate of 173,” the 39-year-old added.
In the end, the wicketkeeper-batter pointed out the former India skipper’s exceptional stats at No. 3 in T20Is.
“What I do like is that No. 3 position. 79 games played there, average of 55 and strike rate of 135. Very solid, match-winner, keeps everyone together, and he allows some of the power hitters to have freedom at the back end of the innings,” the Warmbad-born cricketer concluded.
In 80 innings as number three batter in T20Is, Virat has scored 3,076 runs at an average of 53.96, with a strike rate of over 135, with 32 half-centuries. (ANI)

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