‘Do you want me to sit out?’: KL Rahul’s counter-query when asked if Virat Kohli should open in T20Is

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'Do you want me to sit out?': KL Rahul's counter-query when asked if Virat Kohli should open in T20Is
'Do you want me to sit out?': KL Rahul's counter-query when asked if Virat Kohli should open in T20Is

‘Do you want me to sit out?’: KL Rahul’s counter-query when asked if Virat Kohli should open in T20Is

When asked if Virat Kohli, who scored his first T20I century during the Asia Cup match against Afghanistan, should continue to bat as the opener going into the World Cup alongside Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul seemed a little taken aback.

Rohit Shama chose to withdraw from the meaningless match against Afghanistan, therefore Kohli opened the batting with Rahul.

The situation was complicated by the fact that Rahul, whose T20 batting strategy is already being scrutinised, would have to sit out if Kohli opened the batting.

“Toh kya mai khud baith jaun? (So then should I sit out?),” a perplexed Rahul, obviously not one bit amused, counter-questioned.

The vice-captain of India is adamant that Kohli does not need to bat first to reach a big score.

“You get confidence if you play 2-3 innings, really happy that he could play that way. You all know Virat Kohli, you have been watching him for so many years, it is not like he will only score centuries if he opens the batting, if he bats at No.3, he can then also score centuries. It is all about roles and what role a certain player has,” he added.

But nobody can deny how much the team benefits when their finest batter contributes runs.

“Obviously, Virat scoring runs is a huge bonus for the team, and the way he played against Afghanistan, I know he is very very pleased.

“He has been working on his game and that worked beautifully today. As a team, it is important for every player to get time out in the middle,” the stand-in skipper said.

Even during the three-year slump, Kohli’s work ethic and approach remained unchanged in Rahul’s eyes.

“Obviously, the celebration by Virat was more of relief. There has been no change in his mindset, attitude, and work ethic in the last 2-3 years. There has been no difference in the way he prepares for the game.

“He (Virat) has always had that desire, I think we are also very obsessed with numbers, obsessed with those three digits and we think, if someone is scoring hundreds, then only he is in form. His contributions have been phenomenal in the last 2-3 years,” said Rahul.

Rahul believes that Kohli has consistently aimed for greatness while pursuing perfection.

“As a player, you always want to be perfect or you want to challenge yourself towards excellency, he has always been that player. Even during this phase, he has remained in the moment and he has worked on his game. That has been a learning for our entire group,” Rahul said.

While Rahul wasn’t surprised at all that Kohli’s long-awaited 71st hundred came in the shortest format, Kohli was pleasantly surprised.

“In that dressing room, none of us is surprised to see what he has done today. I am sure this will give him even more confidence. He will obviously cherish this hundred and this will build a great confidence around the group as well,” he added.