Virat Kohli backs KL Rahul: The Indian captain highlighted the struggling opening batsman’s record in the recent years.
India captain Virat Kohli refrained from blaming the outcome of the toss as a reason behind his team’s second defeat in three matches of the ongoing five-match T20I series between India and England in Ahmedabad.
“If you lose the toss, embrace what’s been asked of you. The England bowlers attacked right lines and lengths and with their pace they became more potent. We lacked intensity in the second half,” Kohli told Star Sports during the post-match presentation ceremony.
Kohli, who rescued the Indian team to power them to a competitive total via his 27th T20I half-century, admitted that the surface at the Narendra Modi Stadium was “difficult to bat”. It is worth mentioning that it was in the last five overs of the Indian innings that Kohli scored 49* (17) to power India to 156/6 in 20 overs.
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“If that [his innings] helps the team, then sure. You don’t want to play knocks which don’t help the team in any way. It was a bit difficult to bat against the new ball. Their bowlers were hitting good areas. We got one little partnership, it was important for me to bat deep. The case was to get set and try to get a decent total,” Kohli said.
Virat Kohli backs KL Rahul
It was before the start of the series that Kohli had announced vice-captain Rohit Sharma and batsman Lokesh Rahul as their first-choice opening pair in the shortest format. With Rahul returning with scores of 1, 0 and 0 since then, there have been suggestions from the outside regarding the team management needing to rethink the opening combination.
Being asked about the same, Kohli sounded unperturbed as he firmly backed Rahul at the top of the order highlighting how he was presumed to be in a “lean patch” after he scored a duck in the first T20I.
“I was going through a lean patch two days back [laughs]. He [KL Rahul] has been a champion player. He will continue to be one of our main players along with Rohit [Sharma] at the top of the order. It’s a matter of five-six balls in this format,” Kohli mentioned.