Virat Kohli says KL Rahul will bat in middle order in Sri Lanka ODIs

first_imgIndia captain Virat Kohli has confirmed in-form KL Rahul will bat in the middle order during the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka starting in Dambulla on Sunday.Rahul was in supreme form during the three-Test series, which India whitewashed against Sri Lanka, hitting a record seven consecutive half-centuries. Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad had insisted that Rahul will bat at No.4 during the series but Kohli said there will not be a set pattern.”KL is such a solid player. Before injury he had done well in all the three formats. KL Rahul will definitely be playing in the middle-order but we won’t be predictable or have a set pattern anymore. Anyone can bat anywhere,” Kohli said on the eve of the series opener.KL Rahul will bat in the middle-order but we won’t be predictable or have a set pattern anymore: @imVkohli ahead of the #SLvIND ODI series. BCCI (@BCCI) August 19, 2017Rahul has only played six ODIs thus far in his short injury-prone career, and in all of them, he has opened the innings.He started with a bang scoring a maiden hundred on his ODI debut in Zimbabwe in the summer of 2016, and then added a half-century later in the series as well.His next three ODIs came earlier in January against England, wherein he opened the innings again, but only managed 24 runs in three innings.Kohli further backed Manish Pandey, who is also fighting for a spot in the middle order, and said the right-handed bat has a bright future ahead.advertisement”Manish has done well, he has grabbed his opportunities and got a hundred in Australia as well. We know about his talent and what he brings onto the field. He is superfit and has a bright future ahead of him. He will certainly be backed. As long as there’s healthy competition and everyone keep pushing each other, it will only benefit Indian cricket team,” he said.WATCH: INDIA GEAR UP FOR SRI LANKA ODIsThe captain also hinted at the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the squad for first match.”I see only two guys (spinners) taking the field. Now who are going to be those guys it really depends you know what we feel like going in as a team. But see having wrist spinners in the team is always an advantage you see teams across the world they at least have one wrist spinner if not two helping their side giving important breakthroughs,” Kohli told reporters.The visitors won the three-Test series for their first series sweep overseas and will look to take that momentum into the limited-overs’ leg of the tour as well.The Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Men in Blue, though.They have played 17 ODIs here, stretching back to 2004, and won nine of those matches, including bilateral and triangular series (in 2005 and 2010 involving West Indies and New Zealand respectively), and two Asia Cups in 2004 and 2010.Head-to-head against Sri Lanka, they have played 11 ODIs at this venue but only managed to win four of them. Perhaps the most important marker in India’s history at Dambulla was their game here in August 2008, when Virat Kohli made his international debut.last_img

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