“His T20I strike rate is better than Gayle's,” Irfan Pathan picks Virat Kohli in his India squad for T20 World Cup 2024

The marquee tournament is slated to be held in the West Indies and USA from June 1 to June 29.

Virat Kohli | GettyThere is a lot of buzz surrounding the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, slated to be held in the West Indies and USA from June 1 to June 29.

While the marquee tournament is still couple of months away, the fans and experts have already started picking their ideal squads for different teams.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has also joined the bandwagon. On Monday (April 1), Pathan named his 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

In the recent past, many cricket pundits have raised questions about Virat Kohli's place in India’s T20I squad, highlighting his slow strike rate at the start of the innings.

However, Pathan selected Kohli in his team, citing that the latter’s T20I strike is even better than that of the former West Indies opener Chris Gayle.

Furthermore, Kohli is strengthening his selection claims with consistent performance in the ongoing IPL season. In three matches so far, the star batter has registered scores of 21 (20 balls), 77 (49 balls) and 83* (59 balls) while opening the innings for RCB.

"People are talking about Virat Kohli so I would like to say that his strike rate in international cricket (T20Is) is as good as Chris Gayle or even better than Gayle's. His strike rate as far as the Indian power hitters are concerned Hardik Pandya: 139 and Virat Kohli: 137 - there isn't much of a difference. Rohit Sharma is about 139, Kohli's at 137. Always remember the 82* against Pakistan at the 2022 T20 World Cup. Whenever this question arises in your mind, always remember he is a big-stage player, a match winner and knows how to chase. He will excel under pressure. So there is no point in questioning," Pathan said as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

Irfan Pathan opted for two dynamic all-rounders, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, in his line-up. The former cricketer-turned-commentator suggested that two out of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Jitesh Sharma should be included in the squad for the role of a wicketkeeper-batter. He sees Pant and Sharma as the frontrunners for the job.

As far as the spin department is concerned, Pathan batted for the selection of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi. His pool of fast bowlers included Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and one of either Mohsin Khan or Arshdeep Singh.

India will open their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign on June 5 against Ireland in New York.

Irfan’s likely India 15 for T20 World Cup

Batters: Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rinku Singh

All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja

Wicketkeepers: Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Jitesh Sharma (any two of them)

Spinners: Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi

Pacers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohsin Khan/Arshdeep Singh

(With ANI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 02 Apr, 2024

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