Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul
Virat Kohli Lauds KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma.

India captain Virat Kohli was effusive in his praise for Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul for providing the side with solid platforms both at Trent Bridge and at Lord’s. The skipper highlighted the difficulties openers face in overseas conditions, but Sharma and Rahul have been “outstanding”, in his opinion.

In the first Test, both the right-handers forged a 97-run opening stand. They did even better in the second Test: after being asked to bat first in challenging overcast conditions, Sharma and Rahul battled for 43 overs for a record 126-run partnership.

Virat Kohli, speaking on the eve of the third Test, underpinned India’s dominant position in both matches on the opening partnerships. He commended both batsmen for the way they tackled the English bowlers and conditions.

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Getty)

“Opening combination when you play overseas is one of the most important factors. The way KL and Rohit have played has been outstanding and we hope they continue in the same manner,” Virat Kohli said in the pre-match presser on Tuesday.

“The opening partnership in overseas conditions is crucial to set up the platform for the team to build on. That’s something they’ve provided us in both games. That we were in a winning position in the first game and we won the second Test after being put in is purely because of the way they applied themselves, their skill and precision with which they batted,” he added.

You don’t want to disturb the winning combination: Virat Kohli

Kohli all but confirmed that they will be going with the same combination in the third Test which they have used in the two Tests so far: 4 pacers with a lone spinner in Ravindra Jadeja to support them. This would mean that Ravichandran Ashwin, who was benched for the two Tests, is likely to carry drinks again.
Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin. Credits: BCCI
Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin. Credits: BCCI
“We don’t have any reason to change anything unless people have niggles, which we haven’t encountered since we finished the last Test. A winning combination, you don’t want to disturb. Especially after the team has achieved such an incredible win in the second Test and players are even more excited to take field again,” he further stated.
Shardul Thakur, who missed the second Test due to injury after playing in the first match, is also deemed fit for the Headingley Test. It remains to be seen if the management brings him back as he provides batting depth, although it may not be needed considering the progress in the batting of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.