Kohli hints at middle-order experiments in UK

India skipper Virat Kohli pushed him down the order to number six in the first T20 against Ireland, Raina and Dhoni batted at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively.

M.S. Dhoni batted at No. 4 and skipper Virat Kohli pushed himself down to No. 6 in the first T20 against Ireland on Thursday.   -  AFP

 

India captain Virat Kohli wants to “surprise the opposition” by experimenting with his middle order in the remaining T20s against Ireland and the subsequent three-match series against England.

Kohli pushed himself down the order at six in the opening T20, which India won by 76 runs. Suresh Raina came to bat at No. 3 and M.S. Dhoni at No. 4 after the openers — Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma — put up a 160-run stand.

“We have already announced that apart from the opening combination we are going to do a lot of experiments in the middle order. We are going to be flexible in the next few T20s. We will look to throw in guys when the situation requires them to come in and try to surprise the opposition,” said Kohli in the post-match presentation.

READ: Rohit, Kuldeep shine as India thrashes Ireland

“It presents the opportunity for the batsmen who couldn’t get the opportunity to bat. The guys who couldn’t get a chance today will get an opportunity in the next match. The guys had a great time in IPL but they need to get time in the middle here too.”

Kohli assured that everyone in the squad will get a game.

“The team management decided to give a go to everyone in the squad. The guys are fine with this decision. We are looking to give everyone game-time and want them to portray the qualities they possess because many guys go on tour and never get an opportunity to play,” said the skipper.

There was not much to complain either after India outplayed Ireland in all departments.

“The opening combination was excellent. The last over bowled by Ireland was terrific. Great effort by Rohit and Shikhar to put us in a good position. And good strikes from Dhoni, Raina and Pandya in the end. Bowlers did a clinical job too,” Kohli added.

The Indian spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal started the UK tour with a bang, taking four and three wickets respectively.

Ireland captain Gary Wilson said his batsmen will have to find a way to play the Indian spinners better.

“They are a world-class side and their lads at the top played beautifully. I expected it to be a good wicket, I did not expect it to spin as it did in the second innings. We could have bowled spinners in the powerplay,” said Wilson.

“You can always do things differently when things don’t go your way. We are going to have a chat to tackle their spinners. James Shannon (opener) had a good match so that is one positive we can take from this match,” he added.

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