VVS Laxman has cast his vote for KL Rahul as Rohit Sharma's opening partner for the T20I series against England.
Rahul opened the batting alongside Shikhar Dhawan in the T20I series in Australia, with Rohit Sharma unavailable due to a hamstring injury. With all three openers available for the T20Is against England, Team India is spoilt for choice.
In a recent edition of the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, VVS Laxman was asked if Shikhar Dhawan regaining his form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy will put KL Rahul's spot in the playing XI at stake.
While acknowledging it to be a difficult choice, the former cricketer responded KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma should be India's preferred opening combination.
"It is going to be a tough question as far as the selection of the second opener is concerned, there is no doubt about that because Rohit Sharma is an automatic choice in white-ball cricket. But I will still go with KL Rahul because over the last few months and years, I think the Indian team management went with KL Rahul as an opening batsman and he has done really well in that position," said Laxman.
"I will repose faith in KL Rahul" - VVS Laxman
While admitting that Shikhar Dhawan was in terrific form in the IPL and performed decently in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well, VVS Laxman wants the Indian team to back KL Rahul at the top of the order.
"Yeah, Shikhar Dhawan had a fantastic IPL and the way he batted at the top of the order, scoring centuries for the Delhi Capitals and then he is in tremendous form for Delhi, scored a big hundred in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. But I still will repose faith in KL Rahul because as an opening combination you want someone who is settled," said Laxman.
The 46-year-old signed off by stating that KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma should be persisted with keeping the T20 World Cup in mind, while Shikhar Dhawan can be retained as a fallback option.
"Keeping in mind the T20 World Cup, you have to identify who your openers are going to be there in that World Cup and back them and don't chop and change. And you have someone as experienced as Shikhar Dhawan who can be the backup opener in case one of these openers, Rohit Sharma or KL Rahul, gets injured or lose their form," concluded Laxman.
KL Rahul has scored 1542 runs in the 45 T20Is he has played at an excellent average of 44.05 along with an impressive strike rate of 144.92.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have the most runs (1743) as a pair in T20I history, scored at an average of 33.51. However, the KL Rahul-Rohit Sharma partnership has been more consistent, with their 1019 runs together coming at an outstanding average of 59.94.
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