Indian captain Virat Kohli spoke about the opening combination ahead of the first ODI against England which will be played on March 20. The three-ODI series will be played in the MCA stadium in Pune, Maharashtra, but will be organized behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 surge in the state.
The Indian team is coming off a confident T20I series win over England, which they won by a margin of 3-2, winning the last two matches which were played in the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Virat Kohli opened the innings in the final T20I and scored 80* helping India reach 224/2 in 20 overs.
There were speculations as to who will open the innings in the first ODI or the ODI series against England with Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and Shikhar Dhawan being the contenders to partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the batting order.
Shikhar Dhawan And Rohit Sharma Will Definitely Open, No Doubts About That: Virat Kohli
Shubman Gill had the opportunity to open the innings for India against Australia in the series down under, while Rohit Sharma was nursing an injury. India has been handing KL Rahul the keeping gloves and batting him in the middle order, but with Rishabh Pant finding his form back, it was speculated that Rahul might open with Rohit.
However, at the pre-match press conference, India captain Virat Kohli quashed all rumours and confirmed the opening combination for the ODIs against England.
“Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will definitely open. When it comes to ODI, there are no doubts about that. They’ve been amazing over the past few years,” Kohli said.
Virat Kohli also talked about himself opening in the T20Is and taking the role further into the IPL 2021 and possibly continuing for India in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 as well.
I Want To Understand My Role As An Opener As Well So That I Can Open Up A Slot For Someone Like Surya: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has occasionally opened for India and for his IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as well. But at the toss in the fifth T20I against England, he announced that he will be opening for India in that match and in the possible future as well. He also said that he will open for RCB in the upcoming IPL 2020 as well.
“As Rohit mentioned, it was a strategic move but we enjoyed batting together and we saw the effects of batting together. It’s not a guarantee that this is going to continue in the future. I am going to open in the IPL to keep all options.
Now I want to understand my role as an opener as well so that I can open up a slot for someone like Surya. I should be able to play any kind of role that the team requires me to. We’ll take a call closer to the World Cup,” said Kohli while talking about him opening for India.
Also Read: Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma Have Respect For Each Other’s Game And Approach: Ajay Jadeja