I would persist with Rohit Sharma-Virat Kohli opening formula: Sunil Gavaskar

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli hit impressive fifties after opening the innings in the fifth T20I against England.

Rohit Sharma, Sunil Gavaskar and Virat Kohli
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Rohit Sharma, Sunil Gavaskar and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has urged Team India to persist with the Rohit Sharma-Virat Kohli opening combination in T20Is after the duo’s impressive performance against England in the final T20I. India sprung a surprise during the fifth T20I by sending out Kohli to open with Rohit. The decision came after the hosts failed to get good starts from their openers in the previous four games.

The Indian team-management tried out three different opening combination but did not get the desired result. KL Rahul opened the innings in all those four games and failed to deliver in all of them, registering scores of 1, 0, 0 and 14. The decision to open with Kohli and Rohit paid off as the duo hit the ground running.

Opening the innings in T20Is for the first time since 2018, Kohli top-scored for India, scoring an unbeaten 80. Rohit, on the other hand, scored 64 and shared a 94-run stand with the skipper. Their impressive knocks helped India post a mammoth total of 224 for 2 and win the series-decider by 36 runs.

Your best batsman should bat the most number of overs: Gavaskar

With Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma impressing as an opening pair, Sunil Gavaskar stated that the best batsmen of the team should bat the most number of overs in limited-overs cricket. The legendary batsman also termed KL Rahul’s poor form as a blessing in disguise as it gave Team India a new opening combination in T20Is.

“Your best batsman should bat the most number of overs in limited-overs cricket. So it was very important for Virat Kohli to bat at the top of the order. So maybe, KL Rahul’s loss of form has been a blessing in disguise because this has given us an opening combination to look forward to. Like when Sachin Tendulkar was batting down the order in ODIs and then he was sent up to open the batting and what a transformation it had not just on his batting but the whole team. So clearly, your best batsman have to bat as many overs as they can,” Sunil Gavaskar told India Today.

“I would persist with this opening formula. Look at the way they fed off each other. You could see the interaction between the two of them, whenever each of them got the big shot going. When that happens, when two leaders of the team show the way, it becomes easier for the guys coming down the order. With Suryakumar Yadav, in India colours and playing those cameos, it’s really good,” he added.