Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt reckons Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will open the batting for India despite Ishan Kishan’s brilliant knock against England in a T20 World Cup 2021 warm-up game in Dubai on Monday.
Kishan opened the batting with Rahul in India’s first warm-up clash ahead of the T20 World Cup. While Kishan smashed 70 off 46 balls, Rahul made a blazing 51 off 24. The duo featured in an opening stand of 82 in 8.2 overs as India chased down a target of 189 with ease, winning the clash by seven wickets.
Despite Kishan’s brilliant innings against England on Monday, Butt opined that India will stick to the Rohit-Rahul opening pair. Discussing India’s batting order for the T20 World Cup 2021, the former cricketer stated:
“Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will open, I don't think that will change. Ishan Kishan can bat one down or in the middle-order or after Virat Kohli. He is in amazing form and can bat anywhere in the batting order.”
Speaking about Kishan, Butt added that he looked equally good against pace and spin. The 37-year-old elaborated:
“I haven’t seen him in any kind of trouble either against the new ball or against the spinners. These are very good signs because he played Moeen Ali very well. Adil Rashid is a very good leg-spinner and he attacked him in rather impressive fashion. As an opener, he was confident against the fast bowlers as well.”
Kishan retired on 70 after which Rishabh Pant (29 not out) and Hardik Pandya (12 not out) took India past the finish line in 19 overs.
“It seemed like he was batting against a bowling machine” - Butt on Rahul’s knock against England
While Kishan top-scored for India in the warm-up encounter against England on Monday, Rahul was equally impressive, smashing six fours and three sixes.
Analyzing Rahul’s batting, Butt said:
“The highlight of India’s batting, according to me, was KL Rahul's knock. If anyone wants to watch beautiful batting, they must watch KL Rahul bat. The way he took on England’s bowlers, it seemed like he was batting against a bowling machine. He was able to hit the ball anywhere at his will. The standout aspect of his innings was that most of the shots he played were correct strokes. The kind of shots he played demonstrated the dangerous form that he is currently in.”
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Rahul has an amazing T20 record. He has smashed 1557 runs in 49 T20Is at a strike rate of 142.19. In IPL 2021, he amassed 626 runs in 13 games and was the third-leading run-getter in the edition.