West Indies vs India 2017: Ajinkya Rahane Will Open In All Five Games – Virat Kohli
In the pre-match press conference ahead of the first ODI at Port of Spain, Trinidad, Indian captain Virat Kohli looked extremely fresh and enthusiastic. As an Indian fan, that was some good news, as after the crushing defeat to Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy and the ongoing saga surrounding Anil Kumble’s departure, it is essential for the team to have a leader with a fresh and crisp mindset.
Answering questions from the press, Kohli opened up about the team combination and stated that Ajinkya Rahane would open alongside Shikhar Dhawan for all five games. It must be noted that Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah are two exclusions from that Champions Trophy squad, and Delhi wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav have replaced them, respectively.
With Rahane bound to open alongside Dhawan, this means that if Pant is to make his ODI debut, it will only be in the middle order.
“We have Ajinkya Rahane who will be starting for sure with Shikhar Dhawan,” said Virat Kohli when asked about the opening pair. “We see him more powerful in the opening slot. During the course of five games, he will be opening with Shikhar.”
Admitting that the team was in a great phase, Kohli said,
“Right now the team has covered itself in all bases and is doing really well. We have a lot of confidence and belief in ourselves as a group and I see that continuing for the next 2 years.” “It’s very important for players individually to take responsibility for the way they prepare and take ownership of what happens in the team. We have tried to create this for the past 3 to 4 years and that has continued and that is the biggest strength of the team.”
“What I mean is that certain specific roles are given to the lower order and the middle order – so they keep repeating those roles and that is where consistency comes from and as a player, you have to buy into that culture. If some improvisation is needed then we address those things but apart from that to maintain consistency you have to maintain a consistent performance,” Kohli added.
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