Bharat Express

Rahul Dravid Addresses Rohit-Kohli Opening Duo in T20Is vs Afghanistan; Confirms Top-2 for Opening Match

When discussing the possibility of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli opening in the Twenty20 Internationals against Afghanistan, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid went into great detail.



In a prelude to the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed on Wednesday that Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal would be the designated opening pair for the first match in Mohali. Leading the side after a hiatus of nearly 14 months in the T20 format, Rohit Sharma will partner with Jaiswal at the top. However, Virat Kohli, also returning to T20Is, will miss the opening match due to “personal reasons.”


Rohit’s last T20I appearance was in the 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final against England, while Jaiswal has been a consistent opener since the series against the West Indies in August the previous year. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Jaiswal’s partner in the Australia series, is sidelined for the Afghanistan series due to injury.

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What Rahul Dravid had to say?

Addressing the media ahead of the first T20I, Dravid highlighted the significance of having a left-right combination at the top and confirmed Rohit and Jaiswal for the opening slots. He expressed satisfaction with Jaiswal’s performance as an opener and emphasized the strategic advantage of the left-right combination.

Shubman Gill will take the no.3 role in Kohli’s absence, simplifying the top order. Dravid acknowledged that while left-handers are still part of the lineup, the selection process revolves around a player’s ability to handle diverse bowling challenges rather than solely focusing on left-right combinations.

Dravid didn’t rule out the prospect of Kohli opening with Rohit in the future, stating that players of their calibre possess the skills to counter various bowling styles. He emphasized that selections are based on performance rather than the left-right batting dynamic.

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The former Indian captain concluded by mentioning the emergence of players like Rinku, Jaiswal, and Tilak, adding versatility to the squad. In essence, the selection criteria prioritize a player’s competence to navigate different game situations, encompassing various spin scenarios.