Rohit Sharma has revealed that Virat Kohli replacing KL Rahul was nothing but a tactical move as India wanted to bring in another bowler in the eleven against England in the 5th T20I on Saturday. T Natarajan came into the line-up to provide strength to a 5-man bowling attack as Rahul was dropped; Virat Kohli moved up the order after batting at number 4 in the last two games.
Rohit Sharma, who gave the team a bristling start with 64 runs off 34 balls, says that since the management was keen on including a bowler, KL Rahul’s poor form in the series – 15 runs in 4 innings – made that decision easier. However, the senior opener also confirms that there is no long-term plan fixed yet and that the tactic was decided for one game.
“It is long time to go for the (T20) World Cup, so early days to talk about how our batting will look like. We have to sit and analyse what suits the team the most. Today was a tactical move because we wanted to play an extra bowler and wanted to leave one batsman out. Unfortunately, it was KL (Rahul) which was very tough,” Rohit Sharma said in the press conference.
“KL has been one our key players in limited-overs, especially in this format. Looking at current form, the team management decided to go with the best 11. Having said that, it doesn’t send any signal that KL will not be considered or anything like that. This was just for one particular game. Things might change as we go closer to World Cup,” he added.
I’m not going to rule out anything: Rohit Sharma
The 33-year-old asserted that with the IPL and a couple of other T20I series – BCCI is pondering over hosting South Africa and New Zealand ahead of the World Cup, nothing confirmed yet – there is still plenty of planning needed to be done. Rohit Sharma points out that Rahul has been in supreme form in white-ball cricket over the past couple of years, and will remain in considerations.
“We do understand his (Rahul’s) ability and his contribution at the top, what he’s done for us. So, yeah, I’m not going to rule out anything or neither will I say that this is the preferred batting lineup for a World Cup.
“There is still a good amount of time left with IPL in between. And then, I’m hearing, there will be few T20s as well before the (T20) World Cup. So, you know, good enough time for us, at that point in time to judge what will be the best possible eleven for us,” Rohit Sharma maintained.