India captain Virat Kohli on Sunday said that KL Rahul will continue to keep wickets in the upcoming series as he provides a huge balance to the side. After the regular keeper, Rishabh Pant got concussed by Pat Cummins’ bouncer in the first ODI against Australia at Mumbai, Rahul did the job in the series.
However, he not only impressed with the keeping but also in a sublime form with the bat. He smashed 52-ball-80 while batting at No. 5 in the second ODI at Rajkot. Even though Pant became match fit, Rahul did the job behind the stumps in the series decider. However, Kohli also spoke about the batting order as well.
“I think lack of clarity in terms of positions has really hurt us in the past. Now that we understand that this feels right, we will go ahead with that for a while and figure out if this is the right thing to do or not. You cannot chip and change immediately and create confusion among the group,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
“We are playing very well, unchanged team and did the job two with back to back wins. Don’t see any reason why we should change this balance. It has done well for the team. It (Rahul’s keeping) definitely allows us to play an extra batsmen which strengthens our batting massively. That is a very important factor as far as the team balance is concerned,” he further added.
KL Rahul has done everything – be it opening innings from India to bat at number 5 so far. He batted at No. 3 in the series opener before came to bat at No. 5 in the second ODI. With Shikhar Dhawan’s absence, he opened the chase with Rohit Sharma in the final ODI. However, the captain said he’s very happy with Rahul’s recent form as he has become a match-winner now.
“Look, he is very open to playing anywhere because he is a proper batsman and can do you good in any format and any position in the game. He won’t go slam bang from ball one but he can do what he did in Rajkot playing good cricketing shots. So I think a solid game plan and understanding of his game is helping him,” Kohli explained.