'Don't Start This Nonsense' - Gautam Gambhir dismisses suggestions of Virat Kohli opening the batting

Gautam Gambhir wants Virat Kohli to bat in the middle order contrary to the suggestions of him opening the batting in T20Is.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. (Photograph by Raj k Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

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Former Indian skipper Virat Kohli roared back into form with a scintillating ton in India's final game in the recently concluded Asia Cup against Afghanistan. The batting ace breached the three-figure mark in T20Is for the first time in his career, equalling the tally of Ricky Ponting's 71 centuries in international cricket. Although several experts have opined that Kohli should open the batting given his recent belligerence at the top order, Gautam Gambhir is a firm believer of Kohli at no.3.

Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, renowned for his blunt and unerring responses, rubbished the talks of promoting Virat Kohli to the top of the order. He reckoned that the Indian team should stick with him at no.3, and should promote Suryakumar Yadav instead if India gets a solid start from KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.

"Only as a backup (opener). Don't start this nonsense about him (Kohli) opening the batting. He can't open the batting with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma (available). And I have said this on air that we shouldn't even start this. I will always be flexible about No. 3. I will not have Virat Kohli fixed at No. 3 position. If the openers have batted till the 10th over, then it has to be Suryakumar Yadav at No.3. If an early wicket falls then Kohli," Gambhir said on an episode of 'GamePlan' on Star Sports.

Meanwhile, former Australian opener Matthew Hayden backed the southpaw's assessment of Kohli's position. Hayden stated that it will bring uninvited pressure on the players if there is a doubt about a player's position in the team heading into a crucial tournament. 

'There’s no way that Kohli has to open the batting: Matthew Hayden

"And this great debate around Virat batting up, GG (Gambhir) and I have already had this over the last couple of days, there’s no way that he has to open the batting, he has to bat at number 3, simple as that. And again, it’s another one of those things that you don’t want to let the door open the discussion on this. He’s a world-class player, he can bat at three and he should bat at three in my opinion," the Aussie said.

Virat Kohli will be in action for the Indian team as they take on defending T20 champions Australia in a three-match T20I series, commencing on 20th September in Mohali.