With plenty of players in form, the Indian team management has the tough task of picking the opening combination.
The 7th edition of the T20 World Cup is now less than three months away and yet again our beloved team India is in an uncertain position when it comes to its principal set of openers.
While the main selectors have brimmed the national team with a robust stack of 4-5 top-order batters, the team management along with skipper Virat Kohli is now definitely upholding some oodles of riches in terms of their kingpin opening pair for the upcoming World T20.
Although, the skipper had tentatively confirmed about him and his deputy Rohit Sharma opening the batting, the other two frontline candidates- Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul have emerged as the number 1 and 2 Orange cap holders of the IPL 2021.
Also besides the above four of them, the 21-year old Prithvi Shaw has an outside chance to dwell himself as another reserve opener for the mega event in the UAE.
Let’s check out the 5 possible opening combinations for team India in the upcoming pinnacle event
1. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul
While Rohit Sharma’s place at the top is definitely ascertained, someone like KL Rahul also looks the best fit to open with the veteran. The cricketer’s ability to attack instantaneously makes him a certainty to have in as especially someone like Rohit Sharma does take some time to heat up his cylinders.
Rahul’s overall gameplay where he is a 360-degree batter also makes him the best to use the powerplay especially with his wrists allowing him to play some exquisite flicks and cut strokes. Perhaps, also being technically well-equipped, Rahul has given team India some soaring starts in the past as his batting can also handle the menaces of sluggish or two-paced wickets.
Overall the right-handed batter can nudge the ball around, can sweep spinners, can ramp pacers and can vigorously pull the medium pacers. And also not to forget his over-the-top boundaries and sixes towards the cover region that ultimately makes him the best when it comes to manipulating the field.
However, while the recent home T20I against England series had eventually made the 29- year old walk off from his established opening, Rahul was team India’s most accomplished batter in 2020 as he averaged around 45 from his 10 T20I games. Further, amongst Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, it’s KL Rahul who has an excessive strike rate of above 140.
Now even as a collective pair, both Rohit and Rahul have started to open together since 2017 and in total scored around 586 runs at an average of 45.07 from their overall 13 outings. Both of them are also the only two current centurions in the T20Is who also had together once stitched a commendable opening stand of 165 runs. Hence, the duo of Rohit and Rahul should be the chief opening option for team India to start in the 2021 World T20.