Cricket Predictions

5 Players who can be Team India’s No.3 in T20Is after Virat Kohli

As India ended their ICC title drought in the recently concluded T20 World Cup held at the Caribbean, they also endured a heartbreak in the form of retirement of several stalwarts from the format. One such individual is Virat Kohli.

The star batter, officially bid adieu to the shortest form of the game post the final clash against South Africa. Coincidentally, Kohli won the player of the match award in his final outing in India colors as he smashed a match-winning 76.

Though he played as a designated opener in the World Cup, Virat Kohli occupied the coveted No.3 batting slot for much of his career in T20s for India. He enjoyed great success as he accumulated 3076 runs in that position at an astonishing average of just under 54 and striking above 135. 

These numbers are truly amazing, and his sheer consistency is hard to be matched by anyone. With this, an era has come to an end and someone else must occupy the slot left by the legendary player. 

So who are the possible candidates who can replace the world cup winner in this format at No.3 position?

Ruturaj Gaikwad

The current skipper of the Chennai Super Kings has the game to adopt to any situation. Primarily an opener, India is presently trying the right-hander in the No.3 slot in their ongoing tour of Zimbabwe. 

He has also played in a similar role for CSK in the past and had decent success. Possessing a balanced game, Ruturaj has shown his ability to take on the bowlers at any given situation and it is highly important for a No.3 batter in this format.

Sanju Samson 

There is no better proven player to don the No.3 role than Sanju Samson. Part of the World Cup squad, the wicket-keeper batter didn’t get a single game in the tourney, and he could consider himself unlucky.

But with the seniors gone, this could be the ideal opportunity for Samson to cement a place for his own in the format. He has batted 92 times in the IPL at No.3 and scored a massive 3035 runs at a strike rate of 143.63 with an average of over 38. These numbers present solid case for Samson to be tried at No.3 at the international level for India.

Rishabh Pant

India’s designated No.3 for the World Cup, Rishabh Pant could continue his role in the subsequent tours in the absence of Kohli. Though he didn’t enjoy success in the tournament scoring just 171 runs in the 8 innings, the fact that we didn’t have batting friendly tracks in the World Cup might prompt the team management to back him for the future tours as well. 

Suryakumar Yadav

India’s top ranked T20 batter in the world had found success in all the positions he played for the team. The side’s mindset in the recent times has been to go hard from the word go and it won’t be a surprise if India promotes Surya to No.3 from his usual No.4 to solidify the position.

SKY has scored a century and 4 half-centuries in the 14 innings he played at No.3 with amazing strike rate of 160.74 while scoring 479 runs.

Shreyas Iyer

Currently not in T20I scheme of things for India but Shreyas Iyer could be an ideal fit for India in the position. He has all experience in the world and has donned a similar role both for India as well as for the IPL sides he has played.

He has scored most of career for India (530) at No.3 and batted 51 times in the IPL making 1444 runs. So he has a proven track record to be considered in this position.