File photo of Indian captain Virat Kohli© AFP
Indian captain Virat Kohli on Monday said at the toss for the warm-up match against England in Dubaithat he will be batting at the number three spot. Kohli had earlier said that he would like to open the batting in T20 cricket and Indian fans were expecting a Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma opening partnership at the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup. But the Indian captain it seems has decided to stick to his number three spot, given the kind of form KL Rahul has shown in the recently concluded UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021).
“Things were different before IPL, now it’s difficult to look beyond KL Rahul at the top of the order. Rohit is a no-brainer. World-class player, he’s been solid up front. I will be batting at 3. That’s the only news I can give to start off,” Kohli said at the toss.
After choosing to bowl first in the warm-up match against England, Kohli said that the purpose of playing these matches is to give game time to the players ahead of the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.
“We are pretty sorted in terms of how we are going to start in the first game. Outside of that we just want to give opportunity to guys in these games as much as possible. We will look to give game-time to most of them,” Kohli said.
India start their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24. Former India captain MS Dhoni has joined the India camp as mentor.
KL Rahul’s promotion to the top of the order is not unexpected as he showed great form during the IPL. Rahul had scores of 49, 21, 21, 67, 39 and 98* while opening the batting for Punjab Kings in the UAE leg of IPL.
Kohli himself was in good batting form for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, while opening the batting.
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