Virat Kohli opened the innings alongside Rohit Sharma in the T20I series decider against England.
Team India used different opening pairs in every game of the recently-concluded five-match T20I series. While in the first four games they didn’t get the result they wanted, the fifth and final onemade wonders as the captain Virat Kohli opened alongside Rohit Sharma and the new opening pair made the winning foundation for the host as well.
They stitched a 94-run stand from 8.5 overs before Rohit got out to Ben Stokes in the 9th over after hammering 64 runs off 34 balls. Later, Suryakumar Yadav continued his onslaught with Kohli anchoring the innings from the other end.
After Yadav’s got out for 32 (17 balls), Hardik Pandya came up the order and he also smashed 39 off 17 balls as India put up a massive total of 224/2 from their allotted 20 overs and Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 80 as well.
And former India speedster Zaheer Khan feels that it is the inclusion of the swashbuckling batsman Suryakumar Yadav in the middle that allowed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to open the innings and played a fearless brand of cricket as well.
“It became possible because India got a batsman like Suryakumar Yadav” – Zaheer Khan on the move of Virat Kohli
“The question one should ask is how it became possible that Virat Kohli could come and open the innings? It became possible because India got a batsman like Suryakumar Yadav. Suryakumar went there and showed what he can do at no. 3 position,” Zaheer said in an interview on Cricbuzz.
Although Kohli expressed his desire to open more often, Rohit Sharma said that it was only a tactical move.
“It is still 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 Sharma after the series win.
“Today was a tactical move because we wanted to play an extra bowler and wanted to leave one batsman out. Unfortunately it was KL (Rahul) which was very tough.”
“Yes, I’m going to open in the IPL as well. Have batted in different positions in the past but we do have a solid middle order now – it’s about the two best players getting maximum no of balls in T20 cricket. I’d like to partner Rohit at the top and the other guys feel confident when one of us are in. I’d like that to continue,” Virat Kohli said at the post match presentation.
Both India and england will play three-match ODI series now in Pune.