Rahul to open in the ODI series against SA despite great middle-order stats

Rahul to open in the ODI series against SA despite great middle-order stats

In a press conference ahead of the opening ODI match, stand-in captain KL Rahul has confirmed that he would open the innings in the three-match ODI series in South Africa. Rahul has batted in the middle order in one-dayers of late with impressive performances, but in the absence of newly appointed full-time captain and regular opener Rohit Sharma, he will move to the top order. Since January 2020, Rahul has scored 554 runs in ten ODIs, at an average of 69.25 and a strike rate of 109.92, while batting at No. 4 or lower. Most of these runs have come in winning cause, and in the form of finishing the innings.

My batting position will change as per team’s need – Rahul

“In the last 14-15 months, I have batted at No. 5, No. 4, different positions,” Rahul said on the eve of the first ODI in Paarl. “That’s what the team needed of me then. Now I think with Rohit not being here [due to a hamstring injury], I would bat at the top of the order.”

“We don’t want to be a team that is very predictable,” he said. “There might be games where I have to bat in the middle-order or the lower order because that’s what the team needs. I might have to open the batting at some time, which I’m okay with, and all of us in the team understand that. In a team game, everyone needs to be flexible as per the team plan or the team strategy. Everyone will have to be ready for certain things that the team wants them to do.”

Rahul’s take on Venkatesh Iyer as a fast-bowling allrounder

India are also looking at Venkatesh Iyer as someone who can be their sixth bowling option and do the job Hardik Pandya did before injuries halted his progress. Currently, India do not have a batter in their top six who can also be handy with the ball.

“The sixth bowling option in white-ball cricket nowadays is really important and we are trying to develop that,” Rahul said. “Venkatesh Iyer has come into the side and we will give him that chance. He has done decently well for us in the two or three games he played against New Zealand. In the IPL also he had done well. So he gives us that option as the sixth bowler.

“Fast-bowling allrounders are always an asset and we’re always looking for fast-bowling allrounders. They balance the team out really well, so very excited about Venkatesh Iyer. It’s a great opportunity for him in South Africa and he’s looking really good in the nets.”

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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