Suryakumar Yadav's presence allowed Virat Kohli to open the innings in 5th T20I: Zaheer Khan

Virat Kohli opened with Rohit Sharma for the first time in T20Is on Saturday.
Virat Kohli opened with Rohit Sharma for the first time in T20Is on Saturday.
Modified 21 Mar 2021

Zaheer Khan has opined that Suryakumar Yadav's presence made it possible for Virat Kohli to open the innings in the fifth T20I against England in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

Batting with Rohit Sharma at the top of the order for the first time in T20Is, Virat Kohli played second fiddle in a blazing 94-run opening stand. After Sharma's dismissal, Kohli shifted gears and raced to 80* off 52 balls as India racked up a mammoth 224 runs on the board.

Speaking on Cricbuzz, Zaheer Khan said that it was Suryakumar Yadav's presence at no. 3 which allowed Kohli to move up the order in the first place.

"The question one should ask is how it became possible that Virat Kohli could come and open the innings? It became possible because India got a batsman like Suryakumar Yadav. Suryakumar went there and showed what he can do at the no. 3 position. This thinking, I believed, started from there, and then the result was that Virat Kohli said that 'I can't keep going down the batting order'. Shreyas Iyer has also been pushed down the batting order. So, he decided that opening the innings could be a better option, let's try it out," the former left-arm fast bowler said.

Virat Kohli bagged the Man of the Series award for scoring 231 runs in five games, doing so at a healthy strike rate of 147.13.

Virat Kohli hints at opening for India in T20Is

The Indian captain Virat Kohli made a huge revelation in the post-match presentation ceremony, saying he would open the innings in the upcoming IPL for RCB.

Moreover, Virat Kohli also added that he would like to partner Rohit Sharma more often at the top of the order in T20Is, saying in this regard:

"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.

Kohli has opened the innings 61 times in his IPL career, scoring 2345 runs at an average of 46.9 and a strike rate of 140.2.

Published 21 Mar 2021, 21:09 IST
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