AHMEDABAD: India captain Virat Kohli said Thursday that Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will be the team’s opening combo in T20 cricket as it prepares for a series of five games against England from Friday.
Kohli also made it clear that Ravichandran Ashwin will not be in the white ball scheme of things until Washington Sundar performs.
India vs. England 1. T20I: Looking ahead to the World Cup, India starts looking for a perfect combination
A mix of favorable results in the present and finding the perfect combination for the near future will be India’s main concern when they face a well-rounded England on Friday in a five-game T20 International series. For skipper Virat Kohli, the main goal is to get an idea of his core group of players taking part in the T20 World Championship in October.
India will begin preparations for the T20 World Cup, which will be held in India later this year. The series against England and the skipper gave some clues as to what the core combination would look like.
“When Rohit plays, it’s easy. KL (Rahul) and Rohit have consistently achieved top performances for us, and these two will start,” Kohli was clear in his reply that the experienced Shikhar Dhawan will have to wait.
“In one situation, Rohit is resting and KL has a problem or something, Shikhi (Dhawan’s nickname on the team) obviously comes in as the third opener, but the starting line-up, Rohit and Rahul will be the ones to start.”
Kohli, however, was a little annoyed with a question about India’s # 1 test spinner Ashwin, who made a comeback to his formidable IPL form last time he got some big names, including the Indian captain, cheaply.
“Washington has done really well for us. So you can’t have two players in the same discipline in one place. So (that won’t happen) unless Washy has a drastically terrible season and things keep going for him South, “said Kohli the young all-rounder.
Washington has an impressive savings rate of less than 7 per over (6.95) in 26 games for the country.
Kohli made it pretty clear that the question didn’t amuse him in the least.
“I mean, the question needs to be asked with some kind of logic too. You suggest where you would add Ash and play him on the team?” he countered.
“Washington is already doing this job for the team. It’s easy to ask a question, but you should have a logical explanation for it yourself.”
No place for compromise on fitness: Kohli at Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy’s repeated failures on the fitness test raised some eyebrows, and the Indian captain sent the message loud and clear that anyone who wants to play for India should adhere to certain fitness standards.
Chakravarthy, an IPL sensation for Kolkata Knight Riders, was first picked prior to the Australian tour only to find out later that he was hiding a shoulder injury at the time.
Rishabh Pant has to play with freedom, leave him alone: Rohit Sharma
It can hardly be called a coincidence that India’s surge from the all-time low of 36 in the first Test against Australia in Adelaide in December began with the return of Rishabh Pant to the testing team. If his 97-run strike in Sydney drew the team, his undefeated 89 in the fourth Test in Brisbane gave an impoverished India a miraculous chase for a second straight win Down Under.
He has completed his rehabilitation with the NCA but has not yet played a competitive game at national level and again failed the fitness test for YoYo (17.1) and 2 km (8 minutes) after the Chetan Sharma committee unexpectedly selected him with no playing time .
“Look, individuals need to understand the systems that were being developed for the Indian cricket team,” Kohli was very clear about where he stood on the subject.
“We should be working at a very high level of fitness and skill and that’s why this (Indian team) is at the top of the ladder when it comes to playing cricket in our country.
“We would expect the players to stick to Team India’s requirements. There should be no room for compromise in that regard.”