“It’s always nice to have options for you,” Rohit told Australia two days before the start of the three-T20I series. “It’s very important when you’re in a tournament like a World Cup. You want the flexibility. We’re just talking about it, but this is really what it means. You want your players to be in their best form, hitting every position and so on .
“If we try to do something new, it doesn’t mean it’s permanent. We understand the quality of all the players and what they bring to us. We understand that, but yes, it’s an option for us.” We’ll keep that in mind that since we didn’t take a third opener, he can obviously open. He is opening for his franchise and has done very well. It’s a clear option for us.”
Since Kohli is now the identified third opener, he will have a chance or three to open for the World Cup. “I had a conversation with Rahul bhai [Dravid, the coach] that in some matches we will have to open with Virat because he is our third opener,” said Rohit. “We saw that in the last game and we are quite happy with what we have seen. I don’t think we’re going to experiment much for that position.”
That doesn’t negatively affect Rahul, who is still making his way in after an injury layoff. “KL Rahul will play and open the World Cup in my opinion,” Rohit said. “His achievements for India usually go unnoticed. He is a very important player for India. If you look at his track record of the last two to three years, it is very good.
“I don’t think it’s right not to consider one performance because someone else has performed. We’re clear what’s cooking, but I want to make it clear to people. There’s no confusion. We’re very clear about what KL brings us. He is a very, very important and quality player, and also a match winner. His presence at the top is very, very crucial for us.”
That leaves India with the same top three as that of the last World Cup in the UAE in 2021. In that World Cup, India did not come out of the group stage and again did not make the final of the Asian Cup at the same location. However, Rohit said this time was different as India struck with their new approach and came close even in defeats.
“We will continue to play like this,” Rohit said of their new aggressive hitting style. “We said that very clearly at the beginning. Everyone feels good about that. At the same time, we know what our second line of defense is. We talk a lot about this kind of thing. clear how to hit at 10 for 3, and how to hit at 50 without loss All those things have been discussed a lot Now it’s about doing it.
“Honestly, we played good cricket. And when you play a tournament like that, you also need some luck. I’m not saying 100% luck, but at least 5%. Whether it’s a coin toss or a single run- out. of the green should go your way too. What I expect can happen at the World Cup, I hope. That approach of ours has given us a lot of success and the confidence that we can go out and play. A lot of the guys in the team have achieved something while they did so it is a great sign and we are very happy with it we will have another review meeting after the south africa series to see how everything has been for us over the last 10 months and what we have to do for the World Cup. Of course we believe in a lot of analysis, if we try to do something, how did it go?”
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo