Kohli Offers Hint on India Opening Experiment

Kohli Offers Hint on India Opening Experiment Photo: TT
Virat Kohli (Captain) of India received Paytm Man Of The Series Award during the 5th T20 International between India and England held at the Narendra Modi Stadium

India captain Virat Kohli wouldn’t be drawn on whether his move to open for his country would be permanent but says he’s going to open the batting for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the upcoming Indian Premier League.

Kohli moved up the order replacing the out-of-form KL Rahul in Saturday’s decisive T20 International where India defeated England by 36 runs in Ahmedabad.

The match was set up by India’s batting performance, with Kohli (80no from 52) combining with Rohit Sharma (64 from 34) at the top of the order as they reached 2-224.

The opening duo put on 94 runs in nine overs before Rohit fell, while Suryakumar Yadav (32 from 17) and Hardik Pandya (39no from 17) provided ideal cameos.

“I’m going to open in the IPL as well,” Kohli revealed post-game ahead of the IPL which starts on April 9.

Speaking about opening for India, he added: “We do have a solid middle order now - it’s about the two best players getting maximum number 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.”

Kohli labeled India’s victory in the fifth T20I as a “complete performance”, while opposition skipper Eoin Morgan admitted they were “outplayed”.

Meanwhile, England ruled Jofra Archer out of the upcoming three-game ODI series with his ongoing elbow issue, which will also see him miss the early part of the IPL, with a view to getting on top of the injury with the World Cup later this year in mind.

England coach Chris Silverwood said: “Both parties have put England first, basically. He needs to get this right. He needs some time to do that so we’ve made space to make sure that we gave him the best chance of being successful for England.

“He wants to be at the World Cup and he wants to be at the Ashes. It wasn’t a difficult decision by either side to be honest. I think it was a sensible decision.

“It is very satisfying and it shows how passionate Jofra is about playing for England and how much he enjoys playing for England.”

The India-England ODI series begins on Tuesday in Pune. India have already won the Test series 3-1 and the T20I series 3-2.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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