As the Indian team clinched the series against Australia with a comprehensive 7 wicket win, skipper Virat Kohli cleared the air regarding the fluctuating wicketkeeper position. With regular keeper Rishabh Pant out of the first ODI match of the series due to concussion, KL Rahul had to keep wickets in the second and third.
Clearing the air on who will keep wickets in the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand, Virat Kohli, while speaking at the post-match press conference, said that the team will continue with KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper-batsman since his wicketkeeping skills lend massive balance to the side.
"It definitely allows us to play an extra batsman. It is an important factor while choosing the side. You can look at Rahul Dravid's example in the 2003 World Cup, when he started keeping behind the stumps, the balance of the side became a lot better and the side was able to play an extra batsman," Kohli told reporters
Furthermore, Kohli hailed Rahul's flexibility over hitting the ball in any ground. "KL Rahul is open to playing anywhere, because he is a proper batsman. He is not a guy who will go slam-bang from ball one, but he can do what he did in Rajkot, he has reflected on what he needs to do in the past six months. It is a boost that he can keep wickets as well," he added.
Referring to No 4 conundrum during ODI World Cup, Kohli said, "I think lack of clarity in terms of positions has really hurt us in the past. Now that we understand that this feels right, we will go ahead with that for a while and figure out if this is the right thing to do or not. You cannot chip and change immediately and create confusion among the group."
"We are playing very well, unchanged team and did the job two with back to back wins. Don't see any reason why we should change this balance. It has done well for the team," he added.
"Rahul really brings in good balance, if he can keep and bat that well in that position. He has come into the slot and he has done well so we will have to persist with that a little bit and see where that takes us and not necessarily be confused about the other options we have," added Kohli.
(With inputs from Agencies)
(Image Credits: PTI)