India captain Virat Kohli on Monday cleared all doubts regarding India’s opening spot for the T20 World Cup, saying KL Rahul will open with Rohit Sharma. Kohli said it’s difficult to look beyond KL Rahul after considering the form that the Punjab Kings captain showcased in IPL 2021.
Virat Kohli also said he will bat at No. 3 for India at the T20 World Cup, going back on his words from earlier this year as he had hinted he might open with Rohit Sharma.
After the completion of the limited-overs series against England at home earlier this year, Kohli said he was thinking of opening the batting. In fact, in the final match of the series, Kohli promoted himself and opened with Rohit.
Virat Kohli continued to open for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first leg of IPL 2021 and retained his spot at the top for RCB in the UAE as well. Rahul, on the other hand, had another fruitful season with the bat in IPL 2021, hitting 626 runs in just 13 matches, 9 runs short of Orange Cap winner Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Conceding that things were different before IPL 2021, Kohli said: “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 up front. I will be batting at 3. That’s the only news I can give to start off.”
Pretty sorted: Kohli on India’s team combination
Kohli confirmed the move after winning the toss against England in the first of India’s 2 warm-up matches. India and England are playing at the iCC Academy in Dubai on Monday.
There are quite a few question marks in terms of India’s team combination as all eyes are on Hardik Pandya’s bowling and the choice for the pace unit. However, Kohli stressed India are sorted about their plans for the tournament opener.
Notably, India begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on October 24.
“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,” he added.
Kohli said all the players are looking forward to delivering for India after having had exposure to the conditions in the UAE during IPL 2021. Kohli added he is confident that his men will be able to adapt to the conditions sooner than later.
“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 a priority for everyone. That has to be 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,” he added.