Days after hinting he will continue to open with Rohit Sharma in T20Is, India captain Virat Kohli said it’s no guarantee that the team will persist with the opening combination as it prepares for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in India in October-November.
However, Virat Kohli reiterated that he will be opening the innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore in a bid to understand the role in T20s and look to open up a position for someone like Suryakumar Yadav in the star-studded batting unit.
Virat Kohli had been batting at No. 3 over the years but he decided to join hands with Rohit Sharma at the top of the batting order in the T20I series decider against England on Saturday. The pair dominated the English attack, adding 94 runs for the opening stand in just 9 overs.
Kohli was happy to play second fiddle in the match-winning opening stand with Rohit, who raced to a 34-ball 64. The skipper carried on and stitched crucial partnerships with Suryakumar Yadav, who batted at No. 3, and Hardik Pandya as India posted their highest-ever total against England in T20Is — 224 before winning the 5th T20I by 36 runs.
“As Rohit mentioned it was a strategic move, but we did enjoy batting together in the last T20I. We did enjoy our partnership and we saw the effects of us batting together and knowing what we can do to the opposition if we bat throughout. It is not a guarantee that it is going to be continued in the future,” Virat Kohli said on the eve of the ODI series opener against England.
Going to open in IPL to keep all options open: Virat Kohli
Kohli said the team will take a call on the opening slot closer to the World Cup but he is keen on being ready to play any role, according to the team’s needs for the T20 World Cup.
With the emergence of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, India have had to deal with a problem of plenty, especially in the top-order and middle-order. India dropped KL Rahul for the 5th T20I to accommodate Kohli and Rohit at the top and persist with Suryakumar at No. 3.
“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,” Kohli added.
India will play 3 ODIs against England from March 23 to March 28 in Pune.