'It's happening because they want to fit in Virat Kohli in that XI': Ex-India WK's bold claim on side's unusual tactics

Published on Jul 30, 2022 10:25 AM IST

The former India wicketkeeper-batter made a bold claim on the team management's tactics in the first T20I against West Indies on Friday.

Virat Kohli; Rohit Sharma(AP/PTI)
Virat Kohli; Rohit Sharma(AP/PTI)

Team India registered a splendid 68-run win in the first T20I of the series against West Indies on Friday to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. After posting a strong score of 190/6, India restricted the hosts to 122/8 in Tarouba, with pacer Arshdeep Singh and spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi picking two wickets each. However, even as India secured a comfortable win in the first match, there were many eyebrows raised over one particular decision early in the Indian innings.

Suryakumar Yadav, who had famously scored a century while batting in the middle-order during the second T20I of the series against England, opened the innings alongside captain Rohit Sharma in the game. This is not the first time when India have experimented with their opening combination; during the England T20Is, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant had also opened alongside Rohit.

Also read: Watch: Ashwin survives bizarre run-out, West Indies bowler waits and keeps ball in hand during IND vs WI 1st T20

Ishan Kishan partnered the Indian captain during the home series against Sri Lanka and West Indies ahead of the 2022 Indian Premier League, while the young wicketkeeper opened alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad in the South Africa T20Is last month.

Former India wicketkeeper-batter Parthiv Patel has tried to decode the reason behind India trying out different batters in the opening role in the shortest format of the game. Patel believes that India are doing it to accommodate star batter Virat Kohli in the playing XI.

“I definitely would have (liked to see him in T20Is). I would have liked to see him play the one-day series. It is an easier option of coming back to form. There are fifty overs, there's a lot of time. Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill came back to run-scoring with almost a-run-a-ball. He is a legend of the game. And all these changes we are seeing in the opening order, that's happening because they want to try and fit in Virat Kohli in that XI. That's the reason we are seeing Surya and Rishabh Pant opening. That's something I feel,” Parthiv said on Cricbuzz.

Kohli has been rested for the entire West Indies tour, following a dismal outing in the white-ball formats against England earlier this month. The former Indian captain had failed to breach the 20-run mark in all of his four innings (two T20Is, two ODIs) across the two formats.

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