Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were in excellent form, smashing half-centuries as India sealed a win against New Zealand in the second T20I in Ranchi on Friday. Winning by seven wickets, the hosts made it 2-0 to claim victory in the three-match series. Chasing a target of 154 runs, India reached 155 for three in 17.2 overs as Rahul Dravid kicked off his tenure as head coach with a series victory. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) cricketer Dinesh Karthik lauded India’s opening pair but also asked a big question to the team management and BCCI. Speaking on Cricbuzz, Karthik stated that the management needs to find a backup opener and also give him plenty of game-time.
“In my mind, there is no doubt. What they need to find out is if one of them has an injury during the World Cup, then who is going to be the third opener? That’s it, I don’t think we need more than three openers in a squad. All they need to do is look at who is going to be the third opener”, said the wicketkeeper-batter.
Rohit, who was recently appointed as India’s full-time T20I captain, played a knock of 55 runs off 36 deliveries before losing his wicket to Tim Southee. Meanwhile, Rahul registered 65 off 49 deliveries and was also dismissed by Southee.
Karthik further laid down some options for Dravid and labeled Indian cricket as having an “openers’ galore”.
“Are you going to go to a left-hander which could be Ishan Kishan or Shikhar Dhawan, or go to another right-hander, whoever is batting best. It could be Ruturaj Gaikwad, you have Venkatesh Iyer. There are many options when it comes to openers, there’s you know openers’ galore in Indian cricket and Indian Premier League actually”, he said.
“There are a lot of options, so which way are you going to go?”
“These two are sorted. There is no question.”
“They have been batting brilliantly for a period of time and both of them are top of the runs in the ICC T20 ratings as well. So I don’t see any reason why they should be disturbed. In fact, I feel one of them should be given a break for the next game”, he further added.
“Look at your third opener, who is it going to be, you know. Go march in that direction. Find out who your third opener is. Make sure he is comfortable up until the World Cup where at any given opportunity where one of them is not playing, give him the opportunity to play and stick with him. Give him a good run and make sure he does the best for Team India”, the 36-year-old concluded.
The Men in Blue host New Zealand in the third ODI, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
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