India’s deputy skipper, KL Rahul comes up with a befitting reply when a journalist asks him should former skipper Virat Kohli play as an opener for India in T20Is. Kohli and Rahul opened the innings in the team’s Super Four match against Afghanistan at the 2022 Asia Cup. Kohli, who recently returned to competitive cricket after taking a mental break, showed glimpses of his prime form, but against Afghanistan, he surprised himself by scoring his 71st international hundred and maiden T20I century.
The former India captain ended his century drought with a 53-ball ton and went on to remain unbeaten on 122 runs. His innings were studded with 12 boundaries and s6 sixes as he registered the highest number of individual runs by an Indian batter in T20Is. During the match, Virat Kohli also became the second Indian player after Rohit Sharma hit a hundred T20I sixes and the second player to cross the 3500-run mark after Rohit.
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In the post-match press conference, replying to the query from the journalist, KL Rahul cheekily replied, “So, what do you want me to do- sit out?”, he further added, “Virat scoring runs is a huge bonus for us. He must be pleased with his batting. He has been working on his game for the last 2-3 series and it has come off beautifully. If you play 2-3 innings like this, you get confidence. Happy he could play that way.”
Explaining it further, KL Rahul said, “It is not like he can hit hundreds only when he is opening. If he can bat at number three then also he can score centuries and it is about the role the team wants him to play. Today he played his role beautifully. He will play his next role in the next series with good performances, no question mark about that.”
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Talking about the work ethics of Virat Kohli KL Rahul said, “The desire and passion to win matches for his country have always remained the same for him. But, we are obsessed with numbers. His contributions over the last 2-3 years are still phenomenal. He is still among the top two or three run-getters in white-ball cricket.”
India finished their Asia Cup campaign on a high as the Rahul-led side defeated Afghanistan by 101 runs on September 8 in Dubai.