KL Rahul donning the wicketkeeping gloves "feels right", insists Virat Kohli

Despite Rishabh Pant recovering fully from concussion for the third ODI, India persisted with KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper.

India captain Virat Kohli (L) celebrates with K L Rahul (R) following Australia skipper Aaron Finch's dismissal during the third and final ODI at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, on Sunday.

India captain Virat Kohli (L) celebrates with K L Rahul (R) following Australia skipper Aaron Finch's dismissal during the third and final ODI at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, on Sunday.   -  PTI

Indian captain Virat Kohli said having KL Rahul as a wicketkeeper allowed the team to exercise the option of playing an extra batsman just like the Indian team of the early 2000s when Rahul Dravid donned the gloves.

Despite Rishabh Pant recovering fully from concussion for the third game, India persisted with KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper for the third ODI after he proved more than capable as a substitute for Pant in the first two games.

“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 within the group,” Kohli said.

“We went with an unchanged squad and did the job with back to back wins. I don't see any reason why we should change this balance. It has done well for the team and you want to continue with the status quo,” he said.

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KL was up for the challenge not just in terms of wicketkeeping, he put his hand up and helped India along by playing in different batting positions as the situation demanded. He walked in at No. 3 in the first game, at No. 5 in the second and opened in place of an injured Dhawan in the decider.

“He's very open to playing anywhere because he's a proper batsman. He plays good cricketing shots and that makes you good in any format and at any position in any situation of the game.

"He's not a guy who goes slam bang from the first ball, but he can do what he did in Rajkot by just playing good cricketing shots. So I think solid gameplan and understanding of his game is really helping him.

“He's really reflected on what he needs to do in the last five to six months and he's come a long way. So it’s really a sign and gives a boost to the team,” Kohli said.

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