‘Kuch to log kahenge, logo ka kaam hai kehna’: Virat Kohli defends KL Rahul’s poor form ahead of ODI series against England
Ahead of the ODI series against England, Indian skipper Virat Kohli defended the team’s opener KL Rahul, who is going through a rough patch and failed miserably in the T20I series despite getting numerous chances.
Notably, Rahul has been out of form in recent times and as a result, he was dropped for the fifth and final T20I. The right handed-batsman managed to score just 15 runs in four T20Is against England.
Answering a question on Rahul’s form, Kohli said: “Regarding form, there is a song which comes to my mind –‘kuch to log kahenge, logo ka kaam hai kehna’. I feel there is a lot of impatience. People themselves are thinking what is going on the minds of the players and there is a judgement. People tend to enjoy hearing criticism of players.”
“In the team, we understand how to manage players. If the player is going through a tough phase, we understand what we need to do. The outside noise does not matter to me,” Kohli added.
Meanwhile, Kohli confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be opening the batting in the first ODI against England, but he did not rule out the possibility of him opening going ahead in the future in white-ball formats.
“Firstly, the combination that plays on the field, the selectors do not have any role in that just like the management does not have any role in who gets selected. Secondly, as Rohit mentioned it was a strategic move, but we did enjoy batting together in the last T20I. We did enjoy our partnership and we saw the effects of us batting together and knowing what we can do to the opposition if we bat throughout. It is not a guarantee that it is going to be continued in the future,” said Virat during a virtual press conference on Monday.
“I am going to open in the IPL to keep all options open. I have batted at three, four and now I need to understand my role as an opener which I have done successfully in the past in T20 cricket so that I provide an option to open up a slot for someone like Surya, if he can continue to bat like that, I should be open to playing any kind of role that the team requires me to. We will have a conversation about this when we get closer to the T20 World Cup. It would be interesting to see how I go about my job as an opener in the IPL,” he added.
India will take on England in the opening ODI of the three-match series on Tuesday (March 23) in Pune.
India’s ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), KL Rahul (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur.
England ODI Squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.