Ben ArmfieldDecember 27, 20235min0

Top Alternatives for Virat Kohli in India vs South Africa Clash

3 Best options for number 3 against South Africa in the absence of Virat Kohli for team India

Virat Kohli’s absence from the upcoming series against South Africa leaves a giant void in the heart of India’s batting order. His consistent brilliance at No.3 has been a cornerstone of the team’s success for over a decade.

Finding a suitable replacement who can anchor the middle overs and provide stability is a crucial challenge for the selectors. While replicating Kohli’s impact is no easy feat, several talented youngsters and experienced campaigners are vying for the coveted No.3 position.

The choice between these three talented players will depend on the specific conditions and team strategy. Ultimately, the perfect solution might lie in a flexible approach.

Each player could be utilized based on the game situation and their strengths. One thing is certain: filling the Kohli-shaped void won’t be easy.

But with a plethora of talent at their disposal, India has the resources to overcome this challenge and build a formidable batting order that can conquer even the toughest of opponents.

The upcoming series against South Africa will be a crucial test, offering a glimpse into how India plans to address this pivotal position in the years to come.

Here, we analyze the three best options India has at its disposal:

1) Shreyas Iyer

The elegant batsman has already proven his mettle at No.3, having played several successful knocks there in ODI cricket. His calm and composed demeanour compliment his exquisite timing and elegant stroke-play. Iyer possesses a wide range of strokes and can play according to the situation.

He excels at rotating the strike and building partnerships. His experience in the World Cup has honed his skills against world-class bowlers in high-pressure situations. The only challenge with Iyer is that his recent form in T20 cricket has been inconsistent.

He hasn’t quite translated his ODI success to the shortest format, averaging only 23.67 in T20Is. Additionally, his susceptibility to short deliveries against fast bowlers could be exploited by the South African pace attack.

2) KL Rahul

KL Rahul, known for his versatile batting and reliability across formats, emerges as a potential candidate to fill Kohli’s shoes. Rahul’s adaptability to different positions in the batting order, combined with his impressive form in domestic and international cricket, makes him a strong contender.

He boasts immense talent and adaptability, comfortably opening the innings or shifting to No.3 based on the team’s needs. His aggressive stroke-making and audacious six-hitting prowess can quickly change the tempo of the game.

Rahul’s experience as an opener translates well to No.3, where he can utilize the platform set by the early batsmen. His 360-degree range and innovative shot-making make him unpredictable for bowlers. His leadership qualities and positive attitude can motivate the team in Kohli’s absence.

The only problem with KL Rahul at number 3 is that he has been inconsistent at that position. He tends to play long stretches of sublime form followed by dips in performance. Additionally, his wicket-keeping responsibilities might create fatigue and impact his batting, especially during long series.

3) Yashaswi Jaiswal

Jaiswal, the youngest of the three, is an exciting talent whose audacious stroke-making has drawn comparisons to legendary Indian openers.

His fearless approach and ability to hit big shots from the outset could be a crucial asset at No.3. Jaiswal’s youthful exuberance brings an element of surprise to the batting order. He’s unafraid to take on bowlers and can score quickly, putting pressure on the opposition.

His experience in domestic T20 tournaments has exposed him to diverse bowling attacks and pressure situations. However, Jaiswal carries very little experience in international cricket and can come out as a weak link at number 3.

Ben Armfield

My name is Ben Armfield and I am from Melbourne, Australia. I have been covering international cricket tournaments as a sports journalist since 2016. I am writing all the international cricket news for Cricnews and know all there is about national teams, players and auctions. I have been following the Big Bash League since I was a child and have been a huge fan of the Melbourne Stars ever since.

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