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ICC T20 World Cup 2021: KL Rahul to open innings for Team India, Virat Kohli to bat at No. 3

Dubai, Oct 18: India captain Virat Kohli on Monday (October 18) confirmed KL Rahul will be performing the duties of the second opener for India in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Kohli also said he will bat at number three instead of acting as an opening partner to Rohit Sharma.

The Indian skipper kept it open-ended when asked about the team's top-six batters going into the opening match of the tournament against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24.

"Things were different before IPL, now it's difficult to look beyond KL Rahul at the top of the order. Rohit is a no-brainer. World-class player, he's been solid upfront. I will be batting at 3. That's the only news I can give to start off," Kohli said at the toss before the warm-up game against England.

Rahul emerged as the third-highest scorer in the IPL with 628 runs besides hitting the most number of sixes (30) in the tournament.

"We are pretty sorted in terms of how we are going to start in the first game (versus Pakistan)." The objective behind the two warm-up matches is to give game time to everyone as they get back into the groove after a short break.

"Outside of that we just want to give an opportunity to guys in these games as much as possible. We will look to give game-time to most of them. The idea is to create some energy and momentum as a team. We have played in different teams recently (in the IPL)," said the Indian captain.

While the IPL has been competitive, Kohli didn't forget to mention that it's Indian cricket that is paramount. "We have had success in the past. So we want to create that same energy, fielding is the best place to start I reckon when eleven guys are together. The IPL is right up there in terms of level and competitiveness, but this is paramount. Indian cricket is a priority for everyone. That has to be the case."

It all boils down to adaptability, said Kohli. "Adaptability is what matters. People play different roles in their IPL teams. It's about adapting quickly to this team now, who plays where is what matters."

(With PTI inputs)

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Story first published: Monday, October 18, 2021, 20:10 [IST]
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