Team India captain Rohit Sharma made a big statement ahead of the all-important T20 series vs Australia that kickstarts on September 20 in Mohali. Speaking to the press, two days ahead of the Mohali T20I, Rohit sad that Virat Kohli remains one of the options for Team India to open the innings at the T20 World Cup 2022 that begins next month in Australia. But he added that KL Rahul is the opener they have zeroed on in. He said that Rahul’s contribution as an opener goes unnoticed at times and he has full backing of the captain.

“Virat Kohli is our third opener and he will have to open in some of the games but K L Rahul will open for us at the T20 World Cup. KL’s performances often go unnoticed. He is a very important player for us, said skipper Rohit at the press conference.

After Virat fired his maiden T20I ton vs Afghanistan at the Asia Cup 2022 recently in UAE, and with Rahul going through a lean phase, where he was unable to score runs in the tournament, fans and experte amplified the view of Kohli as an opener in the big-ticket event next month. Earlier, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir had said that Rahul and Rohit are two solid openers, and this partnership should be continued.

“Only as a backup (opener). Don’t start this nonsense about him (Kohli) opening the batting. He can’t open the batting with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma (available). And I have said this on air that we shouldn’t even start this. I will always be flexible about No. 3. I will not have Virat Kohli fixed at No. 3 position. If the openers have batted till the 10th over, then it has to be Suryakumar Yadav at No.3. If an early wicket falls then Kohli,” Gambhir said on an episode of ‘GamePlan’ on Star Sports.

Rohit has backed Rahul, saying he has delivered with the bat consistently in last 2 to 3 years.

“If you look at his performances over last two-three years, it has been very good. I want to make it clear to everyone that we have absolute clarity on this and kya khichdi pak rahi hain we know it very well. There is no confusion,” said the skipper on a lighter note. Rahul’s strike rate has been questioned for sometime now and with Kohli finding form at the Asia Cup, the debate over who should be Rohit’s opening partner has intensified.

“We are clear what KL brings to the table for us. He is match winner for us as well. We have not picked a back-up opener and Virat can obviously open for us. He has done that well for his IPL franchise over the years,” Rohit added.