Should the Indian captain Virat Kohli and the team management go with KL Rahul for the opening slot in the limited-overs cricket instead of the experienced Rohit Sharma? The duo’s recent batting forms have raised this serious question.
One thing is very clear that the Indian team is now focusing to make a proper set up for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. While the big competition is just less than one year away, the team might need to take tough decisions, if the situation demands.
The Indian limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma is an experienced cricketer and undoubtedly a big match player. Despite being a very talented right-handed batsman, he has always fought with the lack of consistent batting forms.
On the other hand, KL Rahul hasn’t much experience in the international cricket but he always becomes a headache for the opponent bowlers when he fit and in-form.
Currently, both the right-handed batsmen are running in very different forms. While KL Rahul is running in a dream form, Rohit is mostly struggling to find his consistent form.
From the IPL 2018, Rahul is not only performing consistently, he is also taking the responsibility to shape his team’s innings which is the most important role for an opening batsman. In IPL 2018, Rahul was the third most runs scorer who scored a total of 659 runs with the average of 54.91 and the strike-rate of 158.41. Playing a total of 14 innings in that tournament, Rahul hit six half-centuries including his best knock of 95* against Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur. According to the situations, he easily changes his gear and intensity.
On the other hand, Rohit Sharma is struggling since the beginning of IPL 2018. Despite changing his batting order, Rohit hasn’t got much success in recent cricket. In fact, the IPL 2018 was his worst IPL season as it was only the first time when he failed to score 300+ runs in an IPL season. He scored 286 runs in the IPL 2018 with the average of just 23.83.
KL Rahul retains his IPL form in the international cricket while Rohit is still finding his consistent form. Though Rohit has recently played a 97-run T20I knock against Ireland, which was also his third consecutive T20I 50+ scores (his previous two consecutive half-centuries were both against Bangladesh in the last two matches of Nidahas Trophy), his most recent big knocks were against the lower-ranked teams who are struggling with their bowling.
Meanwhile, KL Rahul is performing impressively and is hardly underperforming against every kind of bowling line-up. Recently, the 26-year-old has also admitted that he enjoys the role of opening batsman. And while the Indian team has a great in-form man for that very important slot, it seems a very one-sided decision for the team management.
Talking about the other opening slot option, the left-handed batsman Shikhar Dhawan is doing his job very well, especially in the recent T20 cricket.