IND Vs IRE, ICC T20 World Cup 2024: Gavaskar Picks India's Playing XI, Kohli To Open With...

India open their ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 campaign with a Group A fixture against minnows Ireland. Here's India's playing XI as predicted by Sunil Gavaskar

Virat Kohli wins the ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year 2023 award. PTI/ICC Photo

Virat Kohli opening with Rohit Sharma at the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 is what batting Sunil Gavaskar envisions. India, the inaugural champions, open their campaign with a Group A fixture against Ireland at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York on Wednesday (June 5). (Full Coverage | Cricket News)

The former captain has been India's designated number-three batter in the white-ball format for a long time. But in the run-up to the T20 World Cup, Kohli's batting position became a big talking with.

Fuelling those debates was the fact that he had a prolific run opening for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Indian Premier League 2024. And now fans and pundits see the 35-year-old opening for the national team too.

That puts Yashasvi Jaiswal's place in the Indian team in jeopardy. But Gavaskar believes that Jaiswal, who had an underwhelming IPL season, is best suited to bat at number three.

"Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to open the batting along with Yashasvi Jaiswal at three," Gavaskar told 'Star Sports, while naming his playing XI.

In the recently concluded IPL 2024, Kohli emerged as the top scorer with 741 runs in 15 innings (average = 61.75; strike rate = 154.70) with the help of one century and five half-centuries. Jaiswal, meanwhile, managed 435 runs at a strike rate of 155.91 in 12 innings opening for Rajasthan Royals.

Gavaskar picked Rishabh Pant ahead of Sanju Samson for the wicketkeeping slot with Suryakumar Yadav at four.

"Suryakumar Yadav at four, Rishabh Pant at five. At number six, I would have Hardik Pandya, number seven would be Ravindra Jadeja, number eight, not necessarily in that batting order, Shivam Dube. Number nine Kuldeep Yadav, number 10 Jasprit Bumrah and number 11 will be Siraj," he said.

Gavaskar's Best XI For India

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.

India's T20 World Cup 2024 Fixtures

June 5 (Wednesday): India vs Ireland in New York

June 9 (Sunday): India vs Pakistan in New York

June 12 (Wednesday): India vs United States in New York

June 15 (Saturday): India vs Canada in Florida

- All matches start at 10:30 am local time (8:00 pm IST). Two top teams qualify for the Super 8s.