Virat Kohli on Thursday said that Rohit Sharma & KL Rahul will open batting for India in the upcoming five match T20I series against England.
Rohit, Rahul & Shikhar Dhawan are the three openers available in the squad for the series. “KL (Rahul) and Rohit (Sharma) have been consistent performers. Those two will start,” Kohli said at a virtual press conference on the eve of the T20I series in Ahmedabad. All the five T20Is of the series will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Ahead of the series there have been reports that Spinner Varun Chakravarthy who was named in the squad for the T20I series had failed fitness tests. Virat Kohli said it is expected of players to match the fitness standards set for the team. “We would expect players to abide by the (standards) required for Team India,” Kohli said.
With an influence of the newcomers in the squad, most noticeably Suryakumar Yadav & Ishan Kishan,Virat kohli feels that the team now has the batting depth for the players to express themselves freely.
“This time you will see guys a bit freer, a bit more expressive. We didn’t have enough depth in the batting before, but I see us being much more positive and free (in this series),” said Kohli. This T20I series is also seen as a preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup which will be played in India.
England are ranked No.1 in T20I rankings & Kohli selected them as the favorites to win the title. “They are the No. 1 side in the world. England will be favourites to win the T20 World Cup,” Kohli said.
The players who are returning to the squad includes Bhuvneshwar Kumar who will make a comeback after suffering an injury sustained during the IPL 2020. Bhuvneshwar has last played for India in December 2019 but Kohli maintained that the senior bowler remains an integral part of India’s T20I squad.
“He (Bhuvneshwar) wants to contribute too many more Indian victories. We are very glad to have him back. I hope he will build strongly from here,” Kohli said.