‘Only if There’s an Emergency’: Ravi Shastri Shares His Thoughts on Virat Kohli Opening With Rohit Sharma in T20Is

Written by Abhishek Patil

With Virat Kohli seemingly returning to his old self, especially after scoring a maiden T20I century recently, it’s been suggested that he should partner with captain Rohit Sharma to open the innings for India at the world cup which starts from October 16 in Australia. Kohli’s maiden T20I ton came as an opener and with KL Rahul looking a bit rusty when he made his competitive return last month, the prospect of demoting him in the batting order seemed quite valid.

However, Rahul has also signalled a return to form with back-to-back fifties spread across Asia Cup 2022 and in the ongoing bilateral T20I series between India and Australia. And former India allrounder Ravi Shastri feels that it’s best to not break the partnership of Rohit and Rahul right before the world cup.

“I wouldn’t want that,” Shastri said on Star Sports when asked about the possibility of playing Kohli as an opener. “I would want Rahul and Rohit. Only if there is an emergency or there is injury then it is fine otherwise I feel that you need that depth in the lower middle order and the experience especially in the Australian conditions where as a fast bowler you can get wickets in the middle over.”

“There is enough bounce there and you can be aggressive and you can try and hustle out batters in those middle overs. So you know the experience of Kohli out there will be very important,” he added.

In addition to his argument of needing experience in the middle-order, Shastri also said that changing Rahul’s role at this point might end up clouding his thought process and create confusion.

“And Rahul is batting beautifully at the top. Why cloud his imagination? Why confuse him? Why sow a seed in his mind that he might not be opening? You don’t want that. You don’t want that guy to have clarity of thought absolutely clear in his mindset that he is going to open and he is going to score and score big,” the former India coach said.

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Abhishek Patil