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3 Players Who Could Replace Virat Kohli; This 'CSK' Star Is The Front-Runner

India opener, Virat Kohli (AP)India opener, Virat Kohli (AP)

Indian maestro, Virat Kohli, announced his retirement from T20I cricket from following India's T20 World Cup victory over South Africa in Barbados on Saturday. In the showpiece event, Kohli opened the innings, giving his well-earned number 3 to Rishabh Pant.

Following the tournament, an opening spot has opened up, considering Pant would be cement as India's number 3 batter on the road towards the T20 World Cup 2026. 

Here are top 3 youngsters who could potentially fill in Kohli's shoes as an opener in the T20I format. 

1) Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ruturaj GaikwadRuturaj Gaikwad

Chennai Super Kings skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad is not just a phenomenal player, but also a promising talent. His experience under the captaincy of the legendary MS Dhoni has honed his skills, making him well-prepared to handle the pressures of the game. 

With the right guidance, he could potentially step into Virat Kohli's shoes as a T20I opener, a prospect that fills the cricket world with hope and optimism.

In T20Is, Ruturaj Gaikwad has showcased his prowess with an impressive record. In 17 innings, he has scored a total of 500 runs, with a personal best of 123*. 

2) Yashasvi Jaiswal

Yashasvi Jaiswal (AP)Yashasvi Jaiswal (AP)

At just 22, Yashasvi Jaiswal, a T20 World Cup winner, is poised to step into Kohli's shoes as an opener, promising a bright future for Indian cricket.

One of Jaiswal's most intriguing advantages is his left-handedness. His potential as a top-order batter could open up strategic possibilities with a left-right combination.

Jaiswal's recent form is a cause for excitement. His multi-format ability and his back-to-back double centuries against England in February 2024 make him a formidable opponent for any team.

In T20Is, he has scored 502 runs from 16 games. He has scored a century and smashed four half-centuries since his debut in August 2023. Moreover, in T20s, he has amassed 2757 runs from 94 innings, with a personal best of 124 runs.

3) Abhishek Sharma 

Abhishek Sharma (IPLT20.com)Abhishek Sharma (IPLT20.com)

Abhishek Sharma, the Sunrisers Hyderabad opener, has not only had a phenomenal run with his IPL team but is also on the brink of a significant milestone. He is all set to make his debut for India in July during the India tour of Zimbabwe, a moment that is sure to stir up excitement among cricket fans.

Abhishek Sharma's unique blend of explosive batting at the top order and his left-arm spinner ability has piqued the interest of the Indian selectors. 

In IPL 2024, he scored 484 runs from 16 innings, with his personal best of 75*, which came against Lucknow SuperGiants. Additionally, he showcased his versatility by taking two wickets in the tournament.

With his all-round abilities, Abhishek Sharma will be a promising addition to the Indian cricket team.