India have used seven openers in the T20I format, including captain Rohit Sharma in 2022, with Ishan Kishan the most common choice. In 13 matches as an opener for India, the youngster has scored 419 runs with three fifties. But despite Ishan’s decent performance as a back-up opener to Rohit and KL Rahul, India continued to experiment with the opening slot and Suryakumar Yadav was the latest option. And while the move has faced immense criticism from experts, Rohit gave a clear explanation of the rationale behind the ongoing experiment.
Suryakumar, who is most assured to be India’s No.4 batsman in T20Is, has not opened for India in any limited overs game. But in the first two matches of the ongoing West Indies series, he opened the innings alongside Rohit for India. He scored 24 off 16 balls in the first match and 11 off 5 balls in the second match on Monday.
Also Read: ‘Gautam Gambhir asked me to open. The opposition didn’t take me seriously’: Star all-rounder hails India greats’ big gamble
Although the move was criticized by cricket experts, Rohit explained that he wanted the batsmen to be flexible in the lineup instead of sticking to one position.
“We want guys to bat anywhere and we don’t want them batting in specific positions. We want guys to be flexible, there are two ways of looking at it depending on certain players,” he said at the toss on Tuesday.
Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif, who spoke to Fan Code during the first match, questioned the decision as the team chose Rishabh Pant as the opener in the previous England series. He admitted that the move confused Pant as he was given just two chances as an opener.
“Whatever it is, I don’t get it. If you are trying Rishabh Pant as an opener for 2-3 matches today you should have gone with him. Give him at least 5 chances. And this strategy of captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid will support the players for at least 5-6 matches. But This did not happen in Pant’s case,” he said.
Trending topics to follow