India and Australia will lock horns in the first of the three-match ODI series on January 14 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. While the visitors have a fair idea about their combinations, the Men in Blue are left with a happy headache of the top order. Rohit Sharma has returned after resting for the Sri Lanka T20Is and is set to open the innings. However, the problem is about the player who will accompany him at the other end. However, India skipper Virat Kohli has other ideas and has opened up a possibility of playing both of them.
KL Rahul has played all along in the home season so far with either Shikhar Dhawan or Rohit missing the games. The Karnataka batsman has been absolutely and is in the best of forms which makes it tough to drop him. Even Dhawan is one of the best openers in the 50-over format and has a century in his last innings against Australia. There was a question mark over Dhawan’s form but the southpaw looked fluent against Sri Lanka in the final T20I.
And Kohli is ready all the three players at the top and give up his own number three slot. The 31-year-old stressed that all the three players are in good form and the team management can consider the option of playing all of them.
There’s a possibility all three might play – Virat Kohli
“All guys in form is always a good thing for the team. 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,” Virat Kohli said in the pre-match press conference.
Meanwhile, the Indian skipper also cleared that he is not possessive about his number three slot and is ready to bat at four to accommodate. “Yeah, big possibility, very happy to [change my batting position], the in-form batsmen. 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,” Kohli further added.
However, Kohli didn’t say anything about the lower order combination which the hosts will have to adjust if both Dhawan and Rahul play. In that case, India might have to leave out Rishabh Pant with Rahul taking the gloves as they have always been in favour of going in with an extra bowler. Kedar Jadhav offers that option and to have six bowlers, India will have to leave out Pant.
It will be interesting to see if both Dhawan and Rahul actually play and if it happens, who will sit out in the series opener in Mumbai.
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