Rohit Sharma weighs in on India's opening debate at T20 World Cup
India's squad for the T20 World Cup includes two specialist openers in skipper Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Virat Kohli though has been mooted as an option at the top of the order, after his impressive record there in international as well as domestic franchise cricket.
Rahul, who recently made a comeback in the Indian squad after a long rehabilitation from his injury often looked rusty in the Asia Cup. He scored 122 runs in five matches at a strike rate of 122.22.
Kohli, on the other hand, notched up his maiden T20I century in India's final match of the campaign against Afghanistan from the opening slot. The former Indian skipper was in great touch throughout the tournament, ending up as the second highest run-scorer with 276 runs in five matches.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma though was affirmative that KL Rahul will remain India's first-choice option at the top of the order. Speaking to the media ahead of India's T20I series against Australia, Rohit said, "He (KL Rahul) is a very important player for Team India. For us, I just want to make it clear, we are clear in our thought process.
"We do not have any confusion, we are very clear what KL Rahul brings to the table for us, he is a quality player and is very important for us. His presence at the top is very crucial for us," the Indian skipper said, backing Rahul.
Sharma though was open to the option of Kohli slotting in at the top of the order, claiming that he was the third opener in the squad.
"For us, we understand the quality of all our players and what they bring for us. But yeah, it is an option (Virat Kohli opening) for us, we will always keep that in mind.
"Since we have not taken a third opener, he opens for his franchise in the IPL and he has done really well, so it is a definite option for us," Sharma added.
Further elaborating on the composition of the batting order, Sharma said, "Virat Kohli is our third opener and he will open in some of the games. In the last match of the Asia Cup, we were happy with the way he played.
"But KL Rahul will open the batting in the World Cup, his performance sometimes goes quite unnoticed," the Indian skipper concluded.
India's T20I series against Australia begins on 20 September in Mohali before the action moves to Nagpur on 23 September. The final T20I will be played in Hyderabad on 25 September. India will then contest a three-match T20I and three-match ODI series against South Africa, as they amp up their preparations for the T20 World Cup.
THIS IS THE BIG TIME!
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is coming to Australia from 16 October to 13 November 2022.