Virat Kohli said that if Suryakumar Yadav continues to bat in the manner he is doing right now, then the Indian skipper would be willing to play any kind of role that the team needs him to.
On Saturday, India defeated England in the fifth T20I, and as a result, the hosts won the series 3-2. Now both teams will lock horns in a three-match ODI series, beginning Tuesday in Pune.
Virat Kohli Confirms Shikhar Dhawan And Rohit Sharma Will Open In 1st ODI
Skipper Virat Kohli confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be opening the batting in the first ODI against England, but he did not rule out the possibility of him opening going ahead in the future in white-ball formats. KL Rahul averages 39.92 in T20Is despite having scores of 0,1,0, 0, and 14 in the last 5 T20Is and was dropped for his poor form in the ongoing series for the last T20I which prompted Virat Kohli to open.
“Firstly, the combination that plays on the field, the selectors do not have any role in that just like the management does not have any role in who gets selected. Secondly, as Rohit mentioned it was a strategic move, but we did enjoy batting together in the last T20I. It is not a guarantee that it is going to be continued in the future,” said Virat during a virtual press conference on Monday.
“I am going to open in the IPL to keep all options open. I have batted at three, four and now I need to understand my role as an opener which I have done successfully in the past in T20 cricket so that I provide an option to open up a slot for someone like Surya, if he can continue to bat like that, I should be open to playing any kind of role that the team requires me to. We will have a conversation about this when we get closer to the T20 World Cup. It would be interesting to see how I go about my job as an opener in the IPL,” he added.
Rohit Sharma smashed 64 from just 34 balls while Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 80 as the two laid a solid foundation for a big score which was finally achieved. India had been struggling at the top of the order with KL Rahul scoring 1,0,0, 14 in the first four T20Is, Virat Kohli had backed KL Rahul to come well up until the final match as his patience finally ran out with the Karnataka batsman.
Virat Kohli: Scheduling Of ODIs Is Not In Control
India’s vice-captain Rohit Sharma made it clear that Virat Kohli opening the innings in the 5th T20I against England was a one-off decision as they wanted to play an extra bowler in T Natarajan and therefore, had to drop out-of-form KL Rahul from their final XI.
When asked whether ODIs have come out of nowhere in the year where the side is preparing for the T20 World Cup, Kohli said: “Look, it is a difficult one. Scheduling is something that is not in our control. For us, in international games, every game is important and every game has value. It is an opportunity to represent your team and for us, that remains the sole focus. Yes, along the way as I have said in the past, scheduling and workload are something everyone will be very aware of.”
When asked whether the team is sceptical of playing in Maharashtra where the Covid-19 cases continue to rise, Kohli said: “There have been cases outside the bubbles in all places we have played at. The players understand how much is at stake, they have not felt unsafe in the hotels and bubbles.”
Rohit Sharma, Indian vice-captain said it is still too early to finalize the team’s batting line-up for the T20 World Cup at home later this year and skipper Virat Kohli opening alongside him in the series decider against England was only a tactical move.
India’s ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), KL Rahul (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur.