WI vs IND: 3 players who can replace Virat Kohli at No. 3 in ODI Series
Kohli has been rested for the upcoming ODI as well as the T20I series against West Indies.
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Virat Kohli has been rested for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, and as a result, the 33-year-old will not be seen in the blues until the Asia Cup 2022. Kohli has been going through a challenging phase in his career and the swashbuckling batter has struggled to put up a decent knock.
His recent stint was the England tour, where he played the one-off Test, two T20Is, and the final two ODIs of the three-match series. Kohli could manage to score only 31 runs in the two innings of the Test match, while his scores in the T20I series weren’t impressive either as he managed to make just 12 runs in the two games.
He missed out on the first ODI due to a groin injury but returned to play for the second and third, which saw him score 16 and 17 runs respectively. As for the Indian team, the Men in Blue have reached the Caribbean and will commence their tour with a three-match ODI series, which will be followed by as five T20Is. Shikhar Dhawan will be in charge of the Men in Blue for the 50-over games whereas Rohit Sharma will return for the 20-over games.
Here are three players who can replace Virat Kohli at No. 3:
1. Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav has been an important component of the team combination lately. He was a part of the Indian squad in the Ireland T20I series; he played against England in the T20Is and also maintained his place in the ODIs. Though he bats in the middle order, there are high chances of Yadav making it to the top order in Kohli’s absence.
Yadav was highly impressive in the T20Is against England, but could not perform the same way in the ODI series. He got an opportunity to bat only in the second and third ODIs and he managed to score just 27 and 16, respectively.
Having played just 10 ODIs, Yadav is fresh to the setup as it has been just one year since he made his ODI debut. With more and more games, he will get accustomed to the conditions and situations. He was a part of the Indian setup when they last faced West Indies in February 2022, where he scored his highest ODI score of 64 (83).
2. Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda stood by his nickname ‘Hurricane’ in the series against Ireland, where he was one of the reasons behind India’s 2-0 win. His unbeaten knock in the first game led India to finish off the chase in style and his magnificent ton in the second game earned him the player of the series title.
Hooda has played only two ODIs in his short career so far. He made his debut against West Indies at home in February and played the first two games before being replaced in the third. While he remained unbeaten for a 32-ball 26 in the first game, he managed a 25-ball 29 in the second.
Though there haven’t been any remarkable achievements in the ODI format for Hooda, he has been in terrific form in the T20 format this year. His stint at the Indian Premier League for the Lucknow Super Giants proved to be very fruitful as he earned his place in the Indian squad.
3. Shubman Gill
Another strong contender for the top order is Shubman Gill. Having played more in the Tests, Gill does not have much of a track record in the 50-over game, while he is yet to make his T20I debut.
Gill has only played three ODIs, and the last one he played was against Australia in Canberra in December 2020 where he registered his highest score of 33 runs. This is Gill’s first ODI call-up in 18 months and thus he hasn’t had any recent match exposure in the 50-over format.
He most recently played as the opening batter for the Gujarat Titans during their championship-winning IPL 2022 season, scoring 483 runs at a strike rate of 132.32. He was one of the top five runs scorers in IPL this year and gave his side good starts consistently.