IND v ENG 2021: ‘If we feel that is right as a team we will go ahead’, Rohit Sharma on opening with Virat Kohli in future

Rohit and Kohli shared a 94-run opening stand in the series decider.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli | GettyAfter India’s thumping 36-run victory over England in the fifth T20I, vice-captain Rohit Sharma said if the team feels that skipper Virat Kohli should open alongside him to provide the right balance, then they would go ahead with the same plan.

Opening the innings in the series decider on Saturday (March 20), Rohit slammed 64 off 34 balls while Kohli smashed 80 not out off 52 balls as India piled up a massive 224/2 on the board.

After the game, the Indian captain confirmed that he would like to open with Rohit more before revealing that he would be opening for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the 2021 edition of 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," Rohit said during a virtual press conference, as quoted by ANI.

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 explained.

Coming to the match, Suryakumar Yadav (32 off 17 balls) and Hardik Pandya (39* off 17 balls) also made notable contributions with the bat in India’s gigantic total.

With the ball, the hosts restricted England to 188/8 in their allotted 20 overs despite half-centuries from Jos Buttler (52) and David Malan (68). Pacers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-15) and Shardul Thakur (3-45), shared 5 wickets between them.

(With ANI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 21 Mar, 2021

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