Many were took by surprise when Virat Kohli announced during toss in the fifth T20I between India and England that he’ll be opening the innings with Rohit Sharma after Eoin Morgan had won the toss and chose to field first.
India had a plethora of opening options as KL Rahul was dropped after a dismal series that included two back-to-back ducks. India could have gone with Ishan Kishan or Shikhar Dhawan as openers, but Zaheer Khan, the former India fast bowler, felt that Virat got the confidence of opening because of Suryakumar Yadav.
Virat Kohli Could Open Because Suryakumar Went There And Showed What He Can Do At No. 3 Position: Zaheer Khan
Virat Kohli continued his good form in the series scoring 80* and added 94 runs for the first wicket with Rohit Sharma who made 64 runs. India made 224/2 in 20 overs thanks to cameos from Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya.
After winning the series 3-2, Kohli said that he plans to open in IPL as well, and could continue doing so in the future for India. And Zaheer Khan felt that Suryakumar Yadav made it possible for Kohli to open for India.
“The question one should ask is how it became possible that Virat Kohli could come and open the innings? It became possible because India got a batsman like Suryakumar Yadav. Suryakumar went there and showed what he can do at no. 3 position,” Zaheer said on Cricbuzz.
Suryakumar had a good outing in the two T20Is he batted, scoring 57 and 32. However, he got those runs in quick time, keeping the momentum going of the innings as set by the top order.
“This thinking, I believed started from there, and then the result was that Virat Kohli said that ‘I can’t keep going down the batting order’. Shreyas Iyer has also been pushed down the batting order. So, he decided that opening the innings could be a better option, let’s try it out,” Zaheer further added.
The next assignment for the Indian team will be the three ODIs against England team which begins on March 23 and will be played at the MCA stadium in Pune.