India opening batsmen: After a closely fought five-match ENG vs IND T20I series where Team India clinched a stunning 3-2 series win, the two heavyweight teams will now be locking horns in a three-match ODI series starting with the first ODI on March 23. Just like the last 3 T20Is in Ahmedabad, it has been confirmed that all the three ODI matches will be played without crowds at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. It is expected to be a fierce battle in the upcoming India vs England ODI series as some quality white-ball players will be in action.
After a lot of experimentation in the recently concluded T20I series, Indian captain Virat Kohli has confirmed that the experienced duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will start as the two openers in the three-match ODI series against England. While Rohit was the obvious choice for one of the opening slots but the likes of Shubman Gill, KL Rahul and Dhawan were in contention for the other spot. However, the Indian team management has backed the senior left-hander. Earlier, Dhawan was dropped from the T20I side after a poor performance in the first game against England.
“Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will definitely open. When it comes to ODI, there are no doubts about that. They’ve been amazing over the past few years,” said Virat Kohli during the pre-match press conference on Monday.
India tried a lot of opening combinations in the recently concluded India vs England T20I series and in the final T20I match, the opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli composed a cracking partnership of 94 runs and they certainly made a definite case for a long-term option in the shortest format of the game. However, Kohli stated that opening in the 5th T20I against England was a tactical move and it is not a guarantee that this is going to continue in the future. But the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain cleared the fact that he will be opening the innings in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“As Rohit mentioned, it was a strategic move but we enjoyed batting together and we saw the effects of batting together. It’s not a guarantee that this is going to continue in the future. I am going to open in the IPL to keep all options.
Now I want to understand my role as an opener as well so that I can open up a slot for someone like Surya. I should be able to play any kind of role that the team requires me to. We’ll take a call closer to the World Cup,” concluded Virat Kohli.
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