A flexible batting order is what Virat Kohli thinks India needs to keep opponents guessing during the Ireland and England tour. India marked an impressive 76-run win against Ireland in first ODI at Malahide on Wednesday.
A partnership of 160 runs between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan gave a great start for the Indian team. Kohli, however, was in for two surprises, first, he came in at number 6 and second, he was out at the second delivery.
India will face England after they play Ireland. With the English team, India is scheduled to play 3 T20Is before an ODI and a Test series.
Speaking on flexible T20I batting order Kohli said, “The middle order is something we can experiment with in T20 games.”
“I’ve got a good mindset of who’s batting where so in the next few games, not just the Ireland ones but also against England, we will look to be flexible and use them as and when the situation requires them. We will look to surprise the opposition and we’ve asked the batsmen to have that flexibility and they have responded very well.”
Dinesh Karthik and KL Rahul are expected to get a chance in today’s T20I against Ireland. Both the players were surprisingly omitted from the first game. Other players who are expected to make it to the team for the second T20I are Umesh Yadav, Washington Sundar, and uncapped Sunriser’s Hyderabad player Siddarth Kaul.
“We are using these two games to play everyone, and I have already told them that the guys who didn’t play will get an opportunity in the next game, said Kohli.”
Irish team was seen struggling to hold against the Indian counterparts as the only batsman who showed some resistance for the Indian bowlers is James Shannon who scored 60 from 35 balls. India was able to put an end to Ireland at 132 for 9 in 20 overs.
It was a chastening defeat for Ireland but skipper Gary Wilson still has hopes for the team. He insisted, “We can look forward to Friday because I do think we had enough positives out there to show that we can play against teams like these. We’ve obviously been beaten by 70-odd runs, a big margin in Twenty20 cricket. But if we can negate their spin in Kuldeep and Chahal, that would stand us in good stead.”