Cricket - Featured - January 14, 2020

Dhawan/Rahul and Rohit, or all 3 in the XI?

KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan are both in form as India start the ODI series against Australia. Indian captain Virat Kohli revealed that playing them both, alongside Rohit Sharma,in the playing XI could be a possibility. Rahul and Dhawan opened in the recent T20I series against Sri Lanka. Both made useful contributions.

With the return of Rohit Sharma, it seems that India will be forced to pick either of Rahul or Dhawan. However, India might just be considering a new combination for the upcoming ODIs. 

All guys in form is always a good thing for the team,” Kohli said in Mumbai, where the three-match series begins. “You don’t want a guy out of form for him not to start in the XI. You obviously want to have the best players available and then choose from what the combination should be for the team. We’ll figure out what combination we want to go in with, there’s a possibility all three might play.” 

Dhawan, Rohit and Rahul at the top?

Rahul appears to be in some serious form of late. He scored three half-centuries and a century against the West Indies in 3 T20Is and as many ODIs. Rahul also carried his form into the Sri Lanka series with scores of 54 and 45. Dhawan missed the West Indies series owing to injury. However, he made his way into the XI against Sri Lanka in the absence of Rohit. Dhawan finished the series on a high with a 36-ball 52. Therefore, he left his stake for the opening slot yet again. 

Playing Rohit, Dhawan and Rahul together would push Kohli to No.4. Subsequently, it would push Shreyas to No.5 and therefore create a problem in the lower order. India would then be forced to pick either of Pant or Jadhav at No.6. Leaving Jadeja out will reduce the bowling options as well. Kohli, however, said that he was ”very happy” to move from his No.3 position to play the in-form batsmen. But he did not comment anything about the lower order combination. 

Kohli has his say :

Dhawan/Rahul and Rohit, or all 3 in the XI?
Indian skipper Virat Kohli

Yeah, big possibility, very happy to [change my batting position],” Kohli said. “I’m not possessive about where I play and I’m not insecure about where I bat. Being the captain of the team, it’s my job to make sure that the next lot is also ready as well. A lot of the other people might not look at it that way but your job as the captain is not only to look after the team right now but also to prepare a team that you can leave behind when you eventually pass it on to someone else.

So I think these are times where you need to be aware, it’s very easy to get into a personal zone saying, ‘no, I need to get runs’. It’s not like that, it doesn’t work like that. The vision has to be always on the larger picture and figure out how you can make these guys more confident. If at all someone has to take responsibility, it should be me and give the other guys opportunities as well. I’m very open to it and I really want to see guys stepping up and taking responsibility. That’s part and parcel of being captain and it’s good to see players finding their game, realising their own potential when you’re captain. I think that’s probably the most satisfying thing you can feel as a captain.”

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