Speaking about Rahul, Rohit said at a pre-series press conference, “KL Rahul will open for us at the T20 World Cup. We are not going to experiment with that position a lot. His performances often go unnoticed. He is a very important player for India.
“If you look at his performances over last two-three years, it has been excellent. I want to make it clear to everyone that we have absolute clarity on this. There is no confusion,” he added.
Rahul has not been in great nick of late. At the same time, Kohli’s century while opening in the Asia Cup has opened up a fresh debate over whether he should open at the T20 World Cup. Asked about the same, Rohit clarified, “It is always nice to have options available for you, especially if you are going into a tournament such as T20 World Cup, you want that flexibility. It’s an option for us, and since we have not taken the third opener, he can obviously open.
“He opens for his franchise, and he has done really well. It’s a definite option for us,” the 35-year-old conceded.
Kohli’s hundred against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup was his first international hundred in close to three years. Rohit said, “I had a word with Rahul Dravid and we have decided that we might have to open with Virat in few matches. We have seen that in the last match and we are happy. He opens for his franchise, and he has done really well. It’s a definite option for us.”
During the press conference, Rohit also explained why Ashwin was picked ahead of Bishnoi. He said that he wanted an off-spinner who can bat as well. “I wanted a left-arm spinner, a leg-spinner and an off-spinner. Bishnoi was very very close, and very unfortunate that he missed out. But I thought having variety in your team is more important than going with the similar option.
“Ravichandran Ashwin, with his new variations, will be good against the right-handers. Also I have been impressed with his batting, and with him in the team, it gives depth to our batting line-up,” he added.
--By A Cricket Correspondent