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Sunil Gavaskar backs Virat Kohli to open in T20Is, cites example of Sachin Tendulkar

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli
Modified 21 Mar 2021

Sunil Gavaskar wants Virat Kohli to continue opening the batting in T20Is for India after the Indian captain scored a masterful 80* in the series decider against England in Ahmedabad.

Gavaskar believes that the best batsman in the team should look to bat as many overs as possible in limited-overs cricket. In this regard, he gave the example of how Sachin Tendulkar changed his and the team's fortunes by moving to the top of the order in ODIs.

Opening the batting with Rohit Sharma for the first time, Virat Kohli featured in a 96 run opening stand in just nine overs in the fifth T20I in Ahmedabad. The Mumbai Indians captain was the aggressive of the two, scoring 64 off 34 balls. Virat Kohli, meanwhile, rotated the strike early on before accelerating later on in his typical style to finish on an unbeaten 80 off 52 balls.

Speaking to India Today, Sunil Gavaskar opined that Virat Kohli should continue opening the innings in T20I, saying in this regard:

"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."

Expanding further in this regard, Gavaskar provided the example of Sachin Tendulkar, saying:

"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."

Virat Kohli took home the Man of the Series award for scoring 231 runs in five matches, doing so at a strike rate of 147.13.

"I am going to open in the IPL"- Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

In the post-match presentation ceremony on Saturday, Virat Kohli said that he would open the innings in for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the upcoming IPL.

Moreover, the Indian captain also added that he would want to partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the order for Team India more often in the future.

"I am going to open in the IPL as well. Look, I have batted in different positions in the past, but I feel we (RCB) do have a solid middle-order now. Would definitely like to partner Rohit at the top (with the Indian team). Because if we have a partnership, and both are set, you know, one of us is going to cause some serious damage, and that is exactly what we want," Virat Kohli said.

The 32-year-old has opened 61 times in the IPL, amassing 2345 runs at an average of 46.9 and a strike rate of 140.2.

With Virat Kohli announcing his batting slot in the IPL, it remains to be seen whether if he'll do that for India too.

Published 21 Mar 2021, 11:18 IST
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