Virat Kohli has been a revelation as an opening batter since he started opening the innings for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). In the 73 matches in which Kohli has opened the batting, he has scored 2652, at a staggering average of 45.72 and a healthy strike rate of 137.91.
When the Indian skipper opened the batting alongside Rohit Sharma in India's final T20I against England, the duo stitched together a 94-run stand. This led to fans speculating about seeing India's two most dangerous batters at the top of the order for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
In conversation during Khelneeti - A Hindi Cricket Podcast on YouTube, former Indian cricketer and selector Saba Karim believes that there's a strong chance of Kohli opening for India in the T20 World Cup. He said:
"There now seems to be a strong chance of Virat Kohli opening the innings for India in the T20 World Cup because he is taking a liking to that position. He is batting with a good stride rate. He has a concept of which shots to play and the kind of risks he has to take, so it's all about applying that."
Kohli's good form is a good sign for RCB and the Indian team - Saba Karim
With back-to-back fifties to his name in the second leg of the IPL, Kohli seems to have regained his mojo after a tentative tour of England. Saba Karim believes Kohli's good form is a good sign for RCB as well as India. He added that the anticipation will now be around Kohli to convert his starts into big scores. He said:
"Now everyone will just be waiting to see when he (Kohli) can convert these starts into big scores. If you're an opener and your strike rate is good at the start, you're expected to go on and convert that start into a big score."
Virat Kohli has managed to make a couple of fast starts in the second leg of the IPL, after recording a record two half-centuries. However, his strike rate after the powerplay overs has dropped significantly.
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There could be two reasons behind Kohli's sluggish strike rate after the powerplays.
Either the pitches in the UAE are detrimentally slower in the second phase of the game or Kohli is creating the template to play long innings in the Indian side. He is likely to start quickly to compensate for his partner, Rohit Sharma, and drop down to anchor the innings following the fall of the first wicket.