India vs Australia: Virat Kohli hints at KL Rahul continuing as wicketkeeper-batsman, says he lends good balance to the team

Rahul has been in sublime touch with the bat and in the last two ODIs against Australia, also did a decent job behind the stumps in 2-1 series win. He kept the wickets on Sunday even though Rishabh Pant had regained full fitness after getting concussed by Pat Cummins bouncer in the first ODI.

Press Trust of India, Jan 20, 2020 09:53:13 IST

Bengaluru: India captain Virat Kohli on Sunday said the team will continue with KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper batsman "for a while" as he lends massive balance to the side just like his illustrious namesake Rahul Dravid did during 2003 World Cup.

Rahul has been in sublime touch with the bat and in the last two ODIs against Australia, also did a decent job behind the stumps in 2-1 series win. He kept the wickets on Sunday even though Rishabh Pant had regained full fitness after getting concussed by Pat Cummins bouncer in the first ODI.

India vs Australia: Virat Kohli hints at KL Rahul continuing as wicketkeeper-batsman, says he lends good balance to the team

Virat Kohli is happy that KL Rahul has worked on his game and is now a match-winner. Sportzpics

"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 a media conference on Sunday with reference to No 4 conundrum during ODI World Cup.

"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," making it clear that Rishabh Pant might have to wait a bit longer for his comeback in the playing XI.

"It (Rahul's keeping) definitely allows us to play an extra batsman which strengthens our batting massively. That is a very important factor as far as the team balance is concerned," he said.

"If you look at the 2003 World Cup when Rahul bhai started keeping, the balance became different because you could play an extra batter and guys at the top could really play positive cricket," Kohli said referring to the India's runners-up showing in 2003.

Rahul batted at No 3 in the series opener, at No 5 in Rajkot before opening in the decider as Shikhar Dhawan was injured.

"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.

Kohli is happy that Rahul has worked on his game and is now a match-winner.

"He has reflected on what he needs to do in the last five six months and he has come a long way. Good signs for us. Gives a boost to the team because he keeps as well," said the skipper.

So how does recently discovered Rahul the wicketkeeper batsman leave other options in a World Cup year?

"Look we have what we have in the team. It is just that Rahul really brings in good balance, if he can keep and bat that well in that position. He has come into the slot and he has done well so we will have to persist with that a little bit and see where that takes us and not necessarily be confused about the other options we have," said Kohli as the question was an indirect reference to the Rishabh Pant vs Mahendra Singh Dhoni debate.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Jan 20, 2020 09:53:13 IST


IPL 2020 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Chennai
0 0 0 0 0
2
Delhi
0 0 0 0 0
3
Kolkata
0 0 0 0 0
4
Punjab
0 0 0 0 0
5
Mumbai
0 0 0 0 0
6
Bangalore
0 0 0 0 0
7
Rajasthan
0 0 0 0 0
8
Hyderabad
0 0 0 0 0
View Full Table




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
6 Sri Lanka 4191 91
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
6 New Zealand 7114 245