Ravi Shastri had a puzzling response after he was asked if Virat Kohli can open for the Indian team, following the batter’s brilliant outing in RCB’s opener.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore made a strong start to their 2023 Indian Premier League campaign on Sunday night, when the side cruised past five-time champions Mumbai Indians by 8 wickets. Virat Kohli put on a show for the Bengaluru crowd on the side’s return to the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, as he remained unbeaten on 82 off 49 deliveries, while captain Faf du Plessis also scored a brilliant 73 as RCB chased down a 172-run target with 22 balls to spare.
Kohli, who opens the innings for RCB alongside du Plessis, smashed the MI bowlers all around the park and hit the side’s premier fast bowler Jofra Archer for 28 runs in the innings. As the India batter continued his domination in the RCB colours, the commentators during the game – Ian Bishop and Ravi Shastri – had an interesting conversation over the star batter’s batting position for Team India.
Kohli bats at no.3 for the Indian team in the ODIs, and Bishop asked whether the 34-year-old could be given an opening slot, especially considering the World Cup this year.
“Is the opening spot the place for him? There’s a lot of debate about it,” Bishop asked Shastri, who has worked closely with Kohli as India’s head coach in the past.
While Shastri didn’t completely deny the “possibility” over the same, he did mention that it is difficult. “That’s always a possibility. But where India will probably look at, is that there is Rohit Sharma, there will probably be another left-hander. It might just get too top-heavy if Rohit and Virat open. But every time they’ve opened, the partnership has been massive,” Shastri said while being on-air on JioCinema.
The duo has never opened in the fifty-over format, but forged a blistering opening stand of 94 runs in just 9 overs during a T20I against England in March 2021. Thanks to their electrifying start, India eventually ended on 224/2 in the game, with Rohit (64 off 32 balls) and Kohli (80* off 52) balls scoring half-centuries.
In ODIs, Kohli had last opened during the second match of the series against Bangladesh in December last year.