'Don't know what will be the decision': Ajinkya Rahane believes India will have 'flexible' openers in T20 World Cup

  • India have three designated openers in their T20 World Cup squad, and captain Virat Kohli has also opened for the side in a T20I against England earlier this year.
India's Rohit Sharma (left), and KL Rahul run between the wickets during the T20 World Cup warm-up match between India and Australia in Dubai.(AP)
India's Rohit Sharma (left), and KL Rahul run between the wickets during the T20 World Cup warm-up match between India and Australia in Dubai.(AP)
Published on Oct 23, 2021 09:06 AM IST
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Flexibility will be the key and India's top-order options do bring out that character, feels veteran batsman and Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane as he dodged one of the most puzzling questions pertaining to India's lineup for ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

India have as many as four opening options for the tournament. The selection committee, led by former cricketer Chetan Sharma, picked KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma as first-choice openers and Ishan Kishan as a back-up. And, earlier this year, following the England T20I series, Kohli expressed his desire to open for India alongside Rohit in the World T20, shortly after his unbeaten 80 in the final game of the five-match series.

"It is important to have flexibility in this format and we do have flexibility. Virat had opened against England, but I don't know what would be the decision," Rahane said on 'Salaam Cricket 2021' on Sports Tak.

Quelling all doubts, Team India captain, ahead of the start of their first warm-up game this week, revealed that Rahul will open alongside Rohit while he will take the No.3 spot. India did try all the three options picked by the selection committee and all were among the runs - Rahul scored 51 and 39 in the two games, Rohit shrugged off a sluggish start to score 61 off 40 and a fearless Kishan smashed an unbeaten 46-ball 70.

The selection committee chief had earlier explained that Kishan has been picked owing to the flexibility he offers as a batsman - "if needed he can open like he has done in ODIs (in Sri Lanka) when he got a fifty and he can also play in middle order because he is a good player of spin," he said.

Talking about Kohli's chances of opening for India, Sharma said, "It is up to the team management if they want Kohli to open the batting, but as of now we have picked three openers. Virat is an asset to the team. When he bats in the middle order, the team plays around him.

"He has a brilliant record in T20s batting in the middle order. But as I said, it all depends on what the situation is at that point of time," said the former India pacer.

India will open their campaign in the ICC T20 World Cup against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021