Virat Kohli's role in T20I cricket is one of the hottest topics in discussion currently in the corridors of Indian cricket. Many experts opine that Virat should open the innings in T20 and should be given the full autonomy to express himself in the Powerplays as he does for his IPL franchise- RCB.
On the other hand, others are of the view that he should bat at his original No.3 position and anchor the innings till the end while others will aggressively bat around him. Now, South African legend and Virat's former RCB teammate has also joined the bandwagon and has given his say on Virat's role in the T20I setup.
AB de Villiers said that although Virat Kohli has proven himself as a formidable opener in T20 cricket, he would still prefer seeing him bat at No. 3 for India. According to de Villiers, Kohli's ability to execute the anchor's role and form partnerships with middle-order batters makes him more suited to the No. 3 position.
Drawing from his international career experiences, de Villiers emphasized how Kohli, positioned at No. 3, posed the biggest threat to opponents. He described Kohli as the glue holding the team together, even down to the tailenders.
ABD on Virat Kohli’s impact at No.3
Speaking about the whole topic on his latest YouTube video AB de Villiers said, "I have a different opinion. For most of my international career, Virat batting at No. 3 was the biggest threat for us when we played against India. I've always felt like he was the glue of the team in the middle order. No. 3 is not quite middle-order, it is top-order. But he is so good that he often combined with the middle-order, even down to tailenders. It's just impossible to play against that."
When he doesn't face the first ball and is at the non-striker's end, he averages 140 with a strike rate of 173. What I do like is that No. 3 position. 79 games played there, an average of 55, and a strike rate of 135. Very solid, match-winner, keeps everyone together, and he allows some of the power hitters to have freedom at the back end of the innings."
ABD acknowledges trying to convince Kohli to not open during his RCB days
AB de Villiers, having shared the dressing room with Kohli during their time with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), disclosed that he had tried convincing Kohli not to open the batting, even during their RCB stint.
He said, "Even for Bangalore when we played at RCB for so many years together, I always tried to convince him (Virat Kohli) not to open the batting. He loves that; I think that's his preference. He's played cricket for long enough and maybe he should have the final say. If he wants to open the batting, if I was the coach, I would say, 'Okay, you know what you're doing. Go open the batting; you're the best player, go win us the World Cup."