ICC World Cup 2021: The two stalwart of modern-day Indian cricket, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli stole all the limelight as the dashing duo came to open the innings in the decider of the five games T20I series against England. Both the cricketers put up a scintillating show at the top to power India off to a good start.
Flamboyant Rohit Sharma once again proved why he is the man of the occasions as he smacked 34 balls 64 in the 5th T20I. The duo put up the best opening stand in the series for India. While Rohit Sharma was playing his classic game, Virat Kohli played the second fiddle role and took his time to return unbeaten.
Post Rohit Sharma’s dismissal, dasing Suryakumar Yadav proved why he deserves a place in the playing 11 for the T20 World Cup. He started with a second ball six and amassed 17 balls 32. However, he was dismissed by Adil Rashid in 14th over.
India were in a great position to pose a mammoth total in front of England. Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya stated the show after Surya Kumar Yadav was dismissed. Virat Kohli returned on unbeaten 80 runs off 52 balls while Hardik Pandya scored 39 off 17 to power India to 224 in the quota of 20 overs in the loss of two wickets.
All the fans and cricket pundits across the globe started assuming that India will go with the duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
Let’s take a look at what both these cricketers say when asked the same question whether India will persist with both of them as the openers?
Virat Kohli’s stance:
Skipper Virat Kohli enjoyed the show with his deputy Rohit Sharma in the middle. He was pleased with the cricket both of them played and said he will open in the IPL as well.
“I am going to open in IPL as well. I have batted in different positions in the past. But I feel we have a solid middle-order now. So, I will definitely like to partner Rohit at the top going into the T20 World Cup,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
With Rohit Sharma scoring at a good rate Virat Kohli will get enough time to set himself and back to play an unbeaten knock.
“Two best batsmen in the team, one can play second fiddle if the other gets going. That can inflict a lot of damage to the opposition team. Other guys also feel a lot more confident when one of us is still in and is set.”
Rohit Sharma’s Statement:
Indian white-ball vice-captain Rohit Sharma played it safe and said it is too early to say that the opening combination will be the same for the World Cup.
“It is a long time to go for the (T20) World Cup, so early days to talk about how our batting will look like. We have to sit and analyse what suits the team the most,” said Rohit after the series win.
“Today we want to field an extra bowler for us and we have to keep one batsman out of the game. It was a tactical move to play with six bowlers with us. Unfortunately, KL Rahul had to miss out on this game.”
Sharma still refrained to give any hints on the combination as he said the management has to sit and analyse the best possible 11 on a particular day on a particular surface.
Team India will definitely try to persist with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma at the top as they have got a strong middle order comprising of Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya. The middle-order will become more strong when all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will join the squad after improving his thumb fracture.
It will be safe to say that a lot of the opening strategy will depend upon Virat Kohli’s IPL run this time. While KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan will have to perform their best to make their comeback in the playing 11 for the World Cup again.