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Rohit: Kohli is our third opener


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Photo: ICC

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Indian captain Rohit Sharma said that Virat Kohli might open the innings for India at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, while KL Rahul remains the primary pick at the top of the order.

India's T20 World Cup lineup features two skilled openers, skipper Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Kohli, on the other hand, has been mentioned as a possible possibility at the top of the order, owing to his good record there in both international and domestic franchise cricket.

Rahul, who recently made a comeback in the Indian squad after a long rehabilitation from his injury often looked rusty in the Asia Cup. He scored 122 runs in five matches at a strike rate of 122.22.

Kohli, on the other hand, scored his first T20I century from the opening position in India's final match of the season against Afghanistan.

The former Indian captain was in fine form throughout the competition, finishing as the tournament's second best run-scorer with 276 runs in five matches.

Indian skipper Rohit Sharma though was affirmative that KL Rahul will remain India's first-choice option at the top of the order.

Speaking to the media ahead of India's T20I series against Australia, Rohit said, "He (KL Rahul) is a very important player for Team India. For us, I just want to make it clear, we are clear in our thought process.

"We do not have any confusion, we are very clear what KL Rahul brings to the table for us, he is a quality player and is very important for us. His presence at the top is very crucial for us," the Indian skipper said, backing Rahul.

Sharma, on the other hand, was open to Kohli replacing him at the top of the order, arguing that he was the squad's third opener.

"For us, we understand the quality of all our players and what they bring for us. But yeah, it is an option (Virat Kohli opening) for us, we will always keep that in mind.

"Since we have not taken a third opener, he opens for his franchise in the IPL and he has done really well, so it is a definite option for us," Sharma added.

Further elaborating on the composition of the batting order, Rohit said, "Virat Kohli is our third opener and he will open in some of the games. In the last match of the Asia Cup, we were happy with the way he played.

"But KL Rahul will open the batting in the World Cup, his performance sometimes goes quite unnoticed," the Indian skipper concluded.

India's T20I series against Australia begins on 20 September in Mohali before the action moves to Nagpur on 23 September.

The final T20I will be played in Hyderabad on 25 September. India will then contest a three-match T20I and three-match ODI series against South Africa, as they amp up their preparations for the T20 World Cup.