Virat Kohli record: The Indian captain will continue to bat at an unusual batting position in the ongoing T20I series in Ahmedabad.
India captain Virat Kohli will continue to flex his flexibility as a T20I batsman in the ongoing series against England. Having scored a half-century at No. 3 and No. 4 each in the series so far, Kohli has decided to open the batting in the deciding match at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
With opening batsman Lokesh Rahul scoring 15 runs in four innings at an average and strike rate of 3.75 and 48.38 respectively, he was highly likely to miss this match.
“We have made one change today. Wanted to bring in good balance with bat and ball. I will be moving up the order and Suryakumar [Yadav] is that X-factor player in our team and we want to give him as many games as possible. KL Rahul misses out and [T] Natarajan comes in for him,” Kohli told Star Sports during the toss.
Virat Kohli record as opener in T20Is
In 83 T20I innings excluding this match, Kohli has batted the most at No. 3 (57 times). As far as opening the batting in the shortest format at the highest level is concerned, tonight will be the eighth time when Kohli will walk out to bat as an opening batsman.
It is worth mentioning that Kohli’s number as a T20I opener are nowhere near the magic he has created at No. 3. In seven innings as an opener, Kohli has scored 198 runs at an average and strike rate of 28.28 and 146.66 respectively.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 20, 2021
Kohli, who had opened the batting for the first time in a T20I alongside Murali Vijay during India’s tour of South Africa in 2011, has since opened alongside the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan. Fans must note that Kohli had opened the batting in each of the three matches against England at home in 2017.
The last time that Kohli had opened the batting in a T20I was during India’s tour of Ireland in 2018. In T20s, Kohli had last opened the batting against Sunrisers Hyderabad during the eliminator match of Indian Premier League 2020 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.