T20 World Cup: KL Rahul will open for India, confirms Virat Kohli
- KL Rahul scored 600+ runs in the IPL 2021
- He will open with Rohit Sharma at the T20 World Cup
- India's campaign opener is against Pakistan on Oct. 24
KL Rahul will open for India at the T20 World Cup 2021, Indian skipper Virat Kohli confirmed on Monday.
While there have been talks regarding Kohli opening with Rohit Sharma in the tournament, the Indian captain has said otherwise following Rahul's superb run at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, where the Punjab Kings (PBKS) skipper finished third in the charts of most runs.
Rahul was among the three players to score 600 or more runs in the IPL 2021, along with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis. Ruturaj finished IPL 2021 as the leading run-scorer with 635 runs in 16 matches, ahead of Proteas batsman du Plessis (633 runs in 16 matches) and Rahul (626 runs in 13 matches).
Earlier this year, Kohli had opened with Rohit in India's fifth and final T20I against England but the India captain has said it will be difficult to look beyond Rahul as Rohit's opening partner at the T20 World Cup, which went underway in Oman and the UAE on Sunday.
"Things were different before IPL, now it's difficult to look beyond KL Rahul. He's been solid upfront. I will be batting at 3. That's the only thing I can say for now," said Kohli during toss ahead of India's warm-up fixture against England.
India won the toss and opted to bowl against England at the ICC Academy Ground, Dubai on Monday. After 15 overs, England are 130 for 4 with Mohammed Shami bagging three wickets.
Team India is set to play against Australia in their next warm-up match on Wednesday (Oct. 20) before their campaign opener against Pakistan on Sunday (Oct. 24) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
India have been drafted in Group 2 for the Super 12s, along with New Zealand, Afghanistan, plus the winners of Group B and runners-up from Group A from the underway qualifying round.
Kohli has announced that he will step down as India's T20I captain after the T20 World Cup. He is yet to win an ICC trophy as India's captain, while he has also not won the T20 World Cup yet.