Battle for the No.3 spot: Analyzing Samson, Gill, and Tilak as potential replacements for Virat Kohli in Afghanistan T20I opener


Virat Kohli’s replacement for India vs Afghanistan first T20I at Mohali: Who should play No.3 spot?

Rohit Sharma is all set to make a sensational comeback to T20I cricket as Team India will face Afghanistan in the first of three T20Is on Thursday. Rohit led India to a comprehensive series-winning win against South Africa in the first T20I.

Rohit Sharma has returned as India’s captain for the upcoming T20Is against Afghanistan. Rohit’s team will be without the services of the former skipper, who is out of the T20I series opener for personal reasons.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of India’s first T20I against Afghanistan without Rashid Khan, Dravid said Kohli is out of contention for the Mohali T20I. The India skipper, who is the all-time top scorer in World Cup history, last played with Rohit in the T20I at the semi-final stage of the 2022 T20I in Australia, where India lost to England by 6 wickets. Dravid said Rohit will open the batting with youngster Yashashi Jaiswal, but who will replace him?

A poll conducted by the Hindustan Times has revealed Shubman Gill as the top choice to bat at No.3 for India against the Asian giants killers in the series opener. Apart from Shubman Gill, India can also entice the power-hitting duo of Sanju Samson and young sensation Tilak Varma to bat at the top of the order for the first T20I.

Shubman Gill, the Indian opener, tops the voting list with more than 45 percent of the votes. Team India batsman Sanju Samson and Team India wicketkeeper-batsman Vijay Shankar followed Shubman Gill and Yuvendra Chahal in the voting list.

Samson and Yuvendra Verma also made it to the top of the voting list ahead of the start of T20I.

In another HT Poll, Sanju Samson emerged as the first choice wicketkeeper to replace Jitesh Sharma for India’s 1st T20Is against Afghanistan. In another HT Poll, HT Sports asked readers whether India would bat or bowl at Mohali if Rohit won the toss. It is interesting to note that India have lost the toss 11 times in a row in T20Is. On the other hand, the chasing team has triumphed 26 times out of 40 times in T20Is played at the IPL IS Bindra Stadium.