Rohit Sharma has admitted the Indian team might consider opening with Virat Kohli in the run-up to the World T20 given his record at the position in the IPL. Kohli made headlines in the Asia Cup with his first international century since November 2019 leading to calls for a swap with KL Rahul.
India is entering the final stage of its preparation for the forthcoming World T20 with a three-match T20I series at home against Australia, which will be followed by a series against South Africa. The Men in Blue will be seeking to answer any question that remains around team selection and combinations in these matches before heading Down Under.
A major conundrum for the team at the moment is KL Rahul's lack of form in the wake of Virat Kohli's re-emergence at the elite level. The 33-year-old was India's highest run scorer in the Asia Cup by far, ending the tournament with an unbeaten 122 off 61 deliveries against Afghanistan. The talisman has thus become a contender for the opener's spot, given his record of 400 runs in 9 T20Is striking at over 160.
"It is always nice to have options available for you. It is important going into a World Cup that you have flexibility. You want the players to be in best shape batting at any position. When we try and do something new, that does not mean that's a problem," skipper Rohit Sharma was quoted saying by India Today in a press conference.
Kohli's best seasons in the Indian Premier League have also come as an opener for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. All his five centuries have come at the top of the order in the competition, tallying nearly 3,000 runs at an average of 41.86 and a strike rate of 135. In comparison, he averages a considerably lower 35 at number three and a strike rate of 123.79.
"For us, we understand the quality of all our players and what they bring to us. But yeah, it is an option (Virat Kohli opening) for us, we will always keep that in mind. Since we have not taken the third opener, he opens for his franchise and he has done really well, so it is a definite option for us," Rohit added.
The first T20I against Australia is scheduled to take place in Mohali on September 20. The team has time until October 23 to get their plans sorted when they face Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.