Virat Kohli will be batting at number 3 with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as the two openers in the T20 World Cup 2021, the India captain confirmed at the toss of the warm-up match against England at the ICC Academy Ground in Dubai on Monday.
Virat Kohli said that while Sharma at the top was an obvious choice, it has been made “difficult to look beyond” KL Rahul as the other opener after his brilliant performances in the IPL 2021.
Rahul amassed 626 runs in the tournament at an average of 62.60 with a strike rate of 138.80. Most notably, he blasted away CSK in Punjab’s last league game, hammering 98 unbeaten runs off 42 balls.
This knock from Rahul must have left a massive impression on the management and Virat Kohli, who had earlier in the year stated that he would be opening with Sharma.
“Things were different before IPL, now it’s difficult to look beyond KL Rahul at the top of the order. Rohit is a no-brainer. World-class player, he’s been solid upfront. I will be batting at 3. That’s the only news I can give to start off (smiles),” Virat Kohli said at the toss.
It’s about adapting quickly to this team now: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli further demanded adaptability from the players as there has been little time to recover for them after the conclusion of the IPL 2021. He reckons players had performed different roles for their franchises, but now needs to quickly adapt to their roles on the national side.
He also stressed using the two warmup matches to give chances to all the players.
“The idea is to create some energy and momentum as a team. We have played in different teams recently (in the IPL). We have had success in the past. So we want to create that same energy, fielding is the best place to start I reckon when eleven guys are together. The IPL is right up there in terms of level and competitiveness, but this is paramount. Indian cricket is the priority for everyone. That has to be the case. Adaptability is what matters. People play different roles in their IPL teams. It’s about adapting quickly to this team now, who plays where is what matters.
“We are pretty sorted in terms of how we are going to start in the first game. Outside of that we just want to give opportunity to guys in these games as much as possible. We will look to give game-time to most of them,” the Indian skipper added.
India will play Australia on Wednesday for their second warm-up match before meeting Pakistan on October 24 for their first match of the Super 12 stage.
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