“Even if India plays T10, he has a big role to play,” Nehra backs Kohli to be in T20I side

Virat Kohli | GETTY

Former India bowler Ashish Nehra has opened up on speculations on Virat Kohli’s place in the T20I side after he quit captaincy. Kohli’s stint as T20I captain ended with India’s campaign in T20 World Cup 2021 on Monday (November 8).

Nehra said Kohli is India’s most consistent batter and the team will need his service in the next T20 World Cup which is set to be played in Australia, which has better batting pitches. He also recalled the former India T20I captain’s knock against Pakistan in which he scored a half-century when the batting order collapsed.

“He has to continue in T20Is because the next T20 World Cup will be in Australia, which has big grounds like the UAE. Plus, you are likely to get better pitches in Australia than in the UAE.

“Even in this tournament, during the game against Pakistan, Kohli made an important contribution. If you keep him out and go entirely with aggressive batters like Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, and Hardik Pandya as your no.3, 4, and 5, it won’t work every time. No one can provide stability to a batting order better than Virat Kohli,” he said on Cricbuzz.

The 42-year-old added that Kohli, along with players like Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul provide experience in the side, and a team always needs it with the youngsters.

“Your top-2 has Rohit and Rahul, and then Virat Kohli. You need a good combination of experience and youth. In recent times, we have seen more aggressive batters in the Indian team. Among such power-hitters, even if India decide to play T10, Virat Kohli has a big role to play,” said Nehra.