Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has urged Team India to persist with the Rohit Sharma–Virat Kohli opening combination in T20Is after the duo’s brilliant performance against England in the final T20I.
Gavaskar also termed KL Rahul’s poor form as a blessing in disguise as it gave Team India a new opening combination in T20 international cricket.
With KL Rahul in poor form, skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opened the innings for India in the 5th T20 for the first time on Saturday. The duo added 94 runs as India beat England by 36 runs to win the series 3-2.
“Your best batsman should bat the most number of overs in limited-overs cricket. So it was very important for Virat Kohli to bat at the top of the order. So maybe, KL Rahul’s loss of form has been a blessing in disguise because this has given us an opening combination to look forward to,” Gavaskar told India Today.
The veteran cricketer further compared the situation with the past and said it was the same with legendary Sachin Tendulkar who was sent to open the innings after starting the career as a middle-order batsman.
“Like when Sachin Tendulkar was batting down the order in ODIs and then he was sent up to open the batting and what a transformation it had not just on his batting but the whole team. So clearly, your best batsman has to bat as many overs as they can,” he further said.
As a result of the Rohit-Kohli partnership, India managed to post it’s the highest total against England in the shortest format. Kohli top-scored with 80 not out as India reached 224 for 2 in 20 overs.
Shardul Thakur (3 for 45) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2 for 15) then helped India restrict England to 188 for 8 and win the game by 36 runs. The hosts clinched the 5-match series 3-2 in Ahmedabad.
“I would persist with this opening formula. Look at the way they fed off each other. You could see the interaction between the two of them, whenever each of them got the big shot going.
“When that happens, when two leaders of the team show the way, it becomes easier for the guys coming down the order. With Suryakumar Yadav, in India colours and playing those camoes, it’s really good,” Gavaskar added.