After registering a 36-run win in the fifth and final T20I against England here at the Narendra Modi Stadium, India opening batsman Rohit Sharma said that if the team feels that Virat Kohli should open alongside him to give the right balance, then the side would exactly do that.
With this win in the final T20I, India won the five-match series 3-2. Skipper Virat Kohli and boys displayed a clinical performance in the series decider and England had no answers to what was thrown at them by the hosts.
Skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to promote himself as an opener worked wonders in the fifth and final T20I against England as India posted a total of 224/2. Kohli played a knock of 80 runs while Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav played knocks of 64 and 32 respectively. After the match ended, Virat Kohli confirmed that he would like to open with Rohit more and he also confirmed that he would be opening for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).
“It was good for us to win the game with that batting order. Everything will depend on what the captain is thinking at that particular point in time. I am sure we need to sit and analyse and collect our thoughts on what would be the right thing for the team. If that means he has to open with me, so be it, if we feel that is right as a team we will go ahead with that.”
“We are not concerned with what is happening outside, the talks that are taking place outside, and what people are thinking about who should play and who shouldn’t, that doesn’t matter to us. Getting the right players as in somebody who is in good form, giving him an opportunity, those are the things that really matter and we will be focusing on that, come the World Cup. But as I said, World Cup is too far ahead, we just finished the T20I series. I don’t think Virat will open in the ODI series so let’s talk about what is next for us and try and move from this wonderful series we played as a team,” said Rohit while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
Further talking about Virat and him as opening partners, Rohit said: “It is still a long time for the World Cup, early days to be talking about what the batting lineup will look like. Today it was a tactical move as we wanted an extra bowler to play. We wanted to leave one batsman out, unfortunately, it was KL Rahul and it was pretty tough. KL has been one of our key batters in the limited-overs format, especially in this format, but looking at the current form, the team management decided to go in with the best XI.”
“Having said that, it does not send any signal that KL would not be considered, it was just for one particular game. Things may change as we get closer to the World Cup. We do understand his ability and contribution at the top. I am not ruling out anything, nor I am going to say this is the preferred lineup because it is still early days, we have a good amount of time, we have IPL and then I am hearing we may some have more T20Is,” he added.