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Parthiv Patel picks his opening pair for T20 World Cup
By SMCS - Feb 17, 2022 3:30 pm
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Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel has picked KL Rahul as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia later this year as well. However, Rahul is currently injured and he is not part of the ongoing T20I series against West Indies too.

rohit rahul
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul

Ishan Kishan has taken his place in the opening slot with Rohit in the first T20I on Wednesday and struggled a bit as he scored a 42-ball 35. On the other hand, Rohit smashed 40 in 19 balls. While he was asked who should open with Rohit at the T20 World Cup, Parthiv shared his views during a discussion on Cricbuzz.

He said: “KL Rahul is a long-term opening option for me. When Rahul returns to the team, I think he will open the innings with Rohit. Personally, I feel he will open with Rohit in the T20 World Cup. Ishan Kishan is not a bad option when he is in rhythm. When he is in the right mindspace, he allows Rohit to take a bit of time. But I think it will be Rahul and Rohit at the World Cup.”

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Former India pacer Ashish Nehra also backed him. According to him, while Team India have a number of options to choose from, no one can beat the Rohit-Rahul opening pair when it comes to quality.

ishan kishan
Ishan Kishan scored his maiden ODI fifty

He elaborated: “For me, this has been the No. 1 opening pair for quite some time. Of course, when it comes to options, India have innumerable ones and it is up to them which one to pick. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Venkatesh Iyer, Ishan Kishan – all are openers. But for me, in T20Is, Rohit and KL Rahul are the best options as openers for the T20 World Cup.”

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Meanwhile, Virat Kohli also briefly opened the innings but his experiment was short-lived. In Rahul’s absence, Ishan Kishan opened the innings with Rohit on Wednesday where he scored at a strike rate of 83.33 during his 42-ball stay.

“Ishan Kishan was trying to hit the ball too hard instead of timing it. When he was playing cross-batted strokes, he was using the bottom hand so much that the face of the bat was closing. Instead, he could have shown some patience and played a few shots with a straight bat. But it just did not happen for him on the day,” Parthiv Patel again added.

He also praised Suryakumar Yadav after India’s win in the first T20I. Even, former Indian left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra shared similar thinking.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav is batting at a brisk pace

He explained: “After the brilliant start by Rohit Sharma, the way Suryakumar Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer finished the game is a good sign for Indian cricket. It shows that we are looking at options for new finishers. When Hardik Pandya is fit, I am sure he will return. But Suryakumar Yadav once again showed his versatility. From 1 to 6, he can pretty much bat anywhere.”

“For a middle-order batter, it is very important to play spin very well. And Suryakumar has been doing well in that aspect for the last year and a half. He is a big plus for the Indian T20 team. He always shows calmness and confidence under pressure, which is very important for a No. 5 or No. 6 batter,” he shared.

“Players have a love affair of sorts with certain grounds. And when Rohit comes to Eden Gardens, that connection just happens. When he steps out here, he just seems to get a different kind of confidence. But West Indies bowlers allowed Rohit to kick-start his innings with some poor bowling in the initial overs,” Parthiv Patel concluded.

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