India might have lost in-form openers M. Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan to injuries, but that hasn’t worried skipper Virat Kohli one bit. Kohli, who is relishing India’s first test win under his command, recently said that there was nothing to worry despite the absence of the two openers. Kohli made it clear that in all probability it would be Saurashtra lad Cheteshwar Pujara who would open for India. Pujara is no mug while opening, as he has 2 half centuries as an opener in 3 innings.
“These are the guys who are going to play Test cricket for a long time. And guys can be shuffled up and down the order according to what the game demands. You might see people floating around according to situations in the game. Ajinkya Rahane has come on beautifully in the last year-and-a-half. So, even when I am padded up at No 4, these guys when they get a partnership going you feel that belief in them,” said Kohli.
“Thus when two openers were ruled out, the team could call up a middle-order batsman in uncapped Karun Nair to give him exposure because Pujara can open. “He (Pujara) is pretty solid, and with the new ball he has opened in the subcontinent before. Karun is pretty aggressive and expressive, but the idea behind getting Pujara to open along with Rahul is that gives us even more batting options to play around with,” Kohli added.
Opener KL Rahul, who was named the Man of the Match in the second test, too seemed pretty optimistic. Rahul, in his rather a small career, has already notched up two test tons. His first ton makes against the likes of Mitchell Starc and Ryan Harris at Sydney, where batting wasn’t the easiest task. His second ton too came when the side had lost two early wickets.
“From the team’s point of view, it is a great place to be in. All our openers are getting runs and with every given opportunity, all of us are making the best use of it. We are enjoying each other’s success, spending a lot of time together at the nets, talking to each other, trying to give each other a lot of inputs and talk about the bowlers,” said Rahul.