Indian captain, Virat Kohli has all but confirmed that KL Rahul will continue to open with Rohit Sharma in the remaining matches of the ongoing series against England, despite the opener’s struggles in the first three games.
Rahul has registered scores of 1, 0, and 0 and with Ishan Kishan smashing a fifty in the previous game he might be facing some insecurities of his place in the eleven. However, the skipper has come out and gave his full support to the out-of-form opener – not to forget, Kohli had, before the start of the series, declared Rahul and Rohit Sharma as the first-choice opening pair.
Virat Kohli pointed out that he himself was dealing with a lean patch until a couple of games ago; he had secured consecutive ducks, but and came back roaring with consecutive half-centuries.
The skipper asserts that Rahul has been in surreal form in T20 cricket before this series: KL Rahul averaged 44.70 with a strike rate of 141.52 since January 2019 before the start of the England series; he was Man of the Series in New Zealand last year; and has been a prolific run-scorer in the IPL bagging the orange cap last season.
“I was going through a lean patch about two games ago. He (KL Rahul) has been a champion player. If you look at his stats in the last 2-3 years, they are probably better than anyone in T20,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony
“He will continue to be one of our main batters along with Rohit at the top of the order. We don’t have any concerns there. It’s a matter of five-six balls in this format and suddenly you are back in that zone,” he added.
We want to give Hardik a bit more responsibility with the ball: Virat Kohli
While Rahul’s form may not be – or maybe – a concern for the skipper, on the other hand, the fact that Hardik Pandya is fit enough to bowl his full quota of 4 overs is a massive boost to the side as it balances the eleven allowing the management to field an extra spinner or a batsman, as they please. Virat Kohli says that they have given extra responsibility to Pandya, and is happy with the all-rounder’s progress as the third seamer in the line-up.
“You need to figure out which other all-rounder can be featured into the XI. We want to give Hardik a bit more responsibility with the ball because he’s going to be a vital part of this team moving forward. With the ball, he is coming along nicely,” the 32-year-old skipper added.