Gavaskar: India should ‘persist’ with Rohit-Kohli opening formula

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“Maybe Rahul’s loss of form has been a blessing in disguise,” he says

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes the lack of runs from regular opener KL Rahul has ended up benefiting India by providing them with an ideal opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Following scores of 1, 0, 0 and 14 from Rahul, India dropped him for the T20I series decider against England on Saturday, thus pushing Kohli up the order to partner Sharma and the duo put on a 94-run stand in just nine overs to set the platform for a match-winning total of 224.

“Your best batsman should bat the most number of overs in limited-overs cricket. So it was very important for Virat Kohli to bat at the top of the order,” Gavaskar told India Today. “So maybe KL Rahul’s loss of form has been a blessing in disguise because this has given us an opening combination to look forward to.”

Sharma and Kohli’s rapid partnership followed opening stands of 2, 0, 7 and 21 in the first four matches where India used three different combinations also involving Shikhar Dhawan and Ishan Kishan. On Saturday, Kohli, who opened for the first time in T20Is since 2018, batted out the entire 20 overs to finish on 80* from 52 deliveries by accelerating towards the death while Sharma smashed a quickfire 64 off 34.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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