Team India will kickstart their much-awaited tour of Australia on Friday, November 27, when both sides lock horns in the first ODI of the three-match series at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground. Whenever we talk about the India-Australia rivalry in 50-over cricket in the modern era, one player that always finds a mention is the ‘Hitman’ Rohit Sharma.
Rohit Sharma’s record against Australia in ODI cricket and especially Down Under is outstanding, and it is needless to say that the Men in Blue will miss his services in the upcoming rubber. Rohit has been ruled out of the ODI and T20I series due to hamstring injury and is battling against time in order to get fit for the Test rubber.
While Team India will certainly miss Rohit Sharma at the top of the order, the Virat Kohli-led outfit does have plenty of options in the form of Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill. It is likely that Mayank, who opened in the New Zealand series earlier this year when Rohit was injured, will partner Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order, with KL Rahul donning the gloves and spearheading the middle-order.
However, former Indian opener-turned commentator, Aakash Chopra feels that Team India should bat KL Rahul at the top of the order as he feels that given his form as well as his talent, Rahul has the ability to emulate Rohit Sharma and score an ODI double-ton.
It is for this precise reason that Aakash Chopra wants the Indian think-tank to bat Rahul at the top of the order besides slotting-in Sanju Samson as a specialist wicket-keeper in the playing 11.
”My heart says that KL Rahul should open because of the sort of player he is, he scores hundreds and in my opinion, if he plays very well he can even score a double hundred in ODIs. You have got to make him open if you want to do justice to his abilities,” Aakash Chopra said in a video on his YouTube channel.
”But KL Rahul is your keeper as well. If KL Rahul is the keeper, then maybe not. But if you don’t make KL Rahul the keeper and play Sanju Samson for example, then KL Rahul can open and Sanju can bat at No.5 and keep stumps. That is a possibility as this team does not have Rishabh Pant.” he added.