Rohit Sharma, who finished T20I series by scoring a century in the decider, has revealed that KL Rahul’s batting position would be determined by where Virat Kohli wants to bat. He appreciated the performances put in by the youngsters stating that it was heartening to see their match-winning efforts.
Virat Kohli has a phenomenal record batting at No 3 but KL Rahul has impressed one and all with his performance in the T20 Internationals coming in Kohli's usual one down role. The skipper dropped himself to No 4 for the T20s against Ireland and England, but there has been no clarity on whether the Indian team would follow the same strategy in the 50 over format as well. However, Rohit Sharma has stated that Rahul’s batting position against England in the three-match ODI series would primarily depend on where skipper Virat Kohli wants to bat.
"Speaking of Rahul batting at 3 or 4, I don't know where he'll bat in ODIs. Certainly, he has been in great form. We have got to see tomorrow where he actually bats. It will either be No 3 or 4. I don't know where the captain wants to bat. That will be the most important question," Rohit said as quoted by TOI on the eve of the first ODI against England.
Rahul, who scored a match-winning century in the opening match of the series, has made a case for himself in the shorter formats with a string of good scores. Sharma was all praise for Rahul's ability to play match winning knocks.
"I think Rahul's a quality player -- wherever he bats he will make an impact for sure. I think he's looking forward to this opportunity. He has waited for a long time. He certainly wants to make an impact. And we have seen how good he had been batting recently. So he will be eager to go out there and make an impact," he added.
Kohli's deputy heaped loads of praises for India's young brigade for coming up with terrific performances in pressure situations. The likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Yzvendra Chahal, and Hardik Pandya have been extremely impressive in the trasition to international cricket. While Kuldeep and Chahal have been unstoppable in the Indian colours, Panday has shown what he can do with the bat and bowl during the ongoing tour.
"It has been striking to observe the new boys come up with match-winning performances. Kuldeep (Yadav), (Yuzvendra) Chahal, Hardik (Pandya), (KL) Rahul, (Jasprit) Bumrah, these five to six boys have taken a lot of responsibilities in the last one year. When you see these boys performing we felt happy because to come in new and take up the responsibility is not really easy, as we ourselves have experienced.
"These guys are like 'give us responsibility, put us under pressure and we will succeed'. The team goal is only to win wherever we play, perform whether we are seniors or juniors," he said.
While he is expecting high-scoring games, the stylish Mumbaikar made it clear that a team could not go into bat with a target of 400 plus in mind. He showed respect towards the strong England team and insisted that it would not be easy for India to score victory against them.
"When you are playing on pitches like that (flat tracks), you like to chase preferably and this (Indian) team prefers to chase. But the toss is not in your control and if you bat first, you don't go out looking at scoring 400 runs. You bat normally, see how it goes and see where you are after 30 overs, and then analyse thereafter."
"England is a very good team and are ranked no 1. It won't be easy for us to come out and snatch a victory. We have to be at our best and hopefully that will give us the result we want," Sharma added.