IND v ENG 2021: Sunil Gavaskar wants India to continue with Kohli-Rohit opening pair

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opened for India in the fifth T20I against England.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma | GETTY

Team India has been trying new opening pairs throughout the five-match series against England. They paired up Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the fifth T20I and it worked well for them.

Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar feels India should continue with the same opening pair. Kohli had to open after KL Rahul had to sit out of the team because of poor form and need for an extra bowling option. 

The India captain and Rohit posted 94 runs for the first wicket before the latter got out in the 9th over after scoring 64 off 34 deliveries. Kohli batted till the last over and remained unbeaten on 80 runs in 52 balls.

"Your best batsman should bat the most number of overs in limited-overs cricket. So it was very important for Virat Kohli to bat at the top of the order. So maybe, KL Rahul’s loss of form has been a blessing in disguise because this has given us an opening combination to look forward to.

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"Like when Sachin Tendulkar was batting down the order in ODIs and then he was sent up to open the batting and what a transformation it had not just on his batting but the whole team. So clearly, your best batsman have to bat as many overs as they can," Gavaskar told India Today.

Rahul struggled with the bat in the series and he scored only 15 runs in four innings. India had started the series with Shikhar Dhawan in the opening spot but he was dropped in the second match after his failure.

Even Ishan Kishan got an opportunity to open with Rahul and he scored a half-century. Kishan was moved to number three after Rohit's inclusion in the third T20I. He later suffered an injury and missed out in the last two matches. 

"I would persist with this (Kohli-Rohit) opening formula. Look at the way they fed off each other. You could see the interaction between the two of them, whenever each of them got the big shot going.

"When that happens, when two leaders of the team show the way, it becomes easier for the guys coming down the order. With Suryakumar Yadav, in India colours and playing those camoes, it’s really good," Gavaskar added.

(With India Today Inputs)


By Sihyeu Singh - 21 Mar, 2021

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