ENG vs IND: Virat Kohli rules out Mayank Agarwal’s inclusion for Lord’s Test
Indian skipper further said that the team is comfortable with the opening combination of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.
Updated - Aug 11, 2021 7:08 pm
On the eve of the second Test against England, Indian skipper Virat Kohli confirmed that India will stick with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as their openers after the pair turned up with a vital stand in the first Test in Trent Bridge. Despite the match ending in a draw, there were a few positives and the opening partnership was one of them.
In the past few series, the Indian team has struggled to get together a strong opening stand which can negate the English conditions early on when the ball is new. However, Rahul and Rohit, who opened together for the first time in Test cricket were on point in the Trent Bridge Test. The pair managed an almost flawless 97-run stand to set up India’s first innings with the bat in this long five-match Test series.
Despite their fantastic stand, there was speculation whether Mayank Agarwal, who was the preferred choice for India ahead of the first Test, ahead of Rahul, might be recalled. However, Kohli explained that the team management feels comfortable with Rohit-Rahul continuing as the two openers for India. He remarked that the team won’t feel a batsman short if the pair continues.
We do not feel that we are batsman short, says Kohli
“Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul played really well in the first Test match. We are comfortable with how we are placed. We do not feel that we are Batsman short,” Virat Kohli said in a pre-match press conference on Wednesday. Ahead of the series, it was reported that Rahul was looking for an opportunity in the middle order and Mayank was slated to open alongside Rohit Sharma.
Unfortunately, Mayank got hit in the head a couple of days before the first Test. This forced India to open with Rahul, who had not played a single Test since August 2019. Despite his long absence from the red-ball game, Rahul seemed proactive and managed to put together a brilliant inning which in some ways saved India from a lot of trouble.
Rahul scored 84 runs from 214 balls, while he also made a quick 26 runs in the second innings. Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, got 36 runs in the first while he was unbeaten on 12 in the second innings. It should be noted that the duo has previously been successful opening for India in T20Is and ODIs.
In the 2019 World Cup in England, the pair had a few brilliant opening partnerships when Rahul replaced an injured Shikhar Dhawan midway through the tournament.