Kohli: 'May open depending on the balance of the team'

Captain Virat Kohli hinted that he may open the batting for India if needed against England on Wednesday ahead of the first T20I in Kanpur.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli said that even though he has not opened much for India, he has the experience of opening in IPL games.   -  Reuters

Looking at the season ahead, there is very little for India in this three-match Twenty20 series against England. Since there’s more at stake for certain individuals, skipper Virat Kohli expects India to benefit from those who have proved their worth in the Indian Premier League.

>Kanpur T20: England looks a more settled combination

"We definitely want to play more expressive cricket, play more positively than in the past and not worry about the result much. In this format, you need to go out there and show your true potential. Just how explosive we can be, like we do in the IPL. Somewhere on the international stage, there is a bit of hesitation, that extra bit of pressure that comes with playing for the country. This format allows you to get rid of that. Really express yourself and the skills you have to the best of your potential. That is something we want to do as a side.”

Reflecting on the combination that has a blend of youth and experience, Kohli said, “We’ve got in quite a few youngsters now who we want to groom with (alongside) the senior guys in the team. Eventually the idea is, give them confidence from hereon and then maybe push them to the ODIs and then give more confidence and then from thereon get them to the highest level, which is Test cricket. But it’s very important to back them enough in T20 cricket.”

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Kohli chose his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates Yuzvendra Chahal and Parveez Rasool for special mention. “These two guys are smart, pretty consistent and the areas that they are bowling are pretty good. Chahal, obviously, everyone has seen his performances. Rasool is pretty confident and can bowl with the new ball against some of the attacking batsmen of the world.

“They know how to create pressure and bowl to get you wickets. This is a breakthrough series for both them. They have not played a big series yet. This might be the perfect opportunity for them to seal their spots as T20 specialist spinners.”

Virat Kohli also hinted that he may open the batting for India if needed against England on Wednesday ahead of the first T20I.

>Kohli unconcerned by England's 'trump card' Tymal Mills

Kohli said: "There are all kinds of possibilities. In IPL, you don't have many Indian players to play with in terms of batsmen because they spread across the franchises. But, here you have the best of the lot. We have to figure out who fits in where. We have a lot of options which is a very good thing. Whatever creates the best balance for us as a batting side, I think we are going to go ahead with that."



Virat Kohli
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"I have opened only one or two T20 games for India till now. But, I have experience of opening in the IPL. If need be I could or I might not depending on the balance of the side."

Talking about Suresh Raina's return in the T20 squad, Kohli said that the middle-order batsman still has a lot to offer in the shorter formats of the game.

"He hasn't played for a while. He played the T20 World Cup. There were too many Tests in between the World T20 and now. We still believe that he has enough to contribute in the shorter formats for India.

"I feel he certainly has a lot to offer, especially in the shorter formats and he can start from this series onwards," Kohli said.