Former Indian captain Virat Kohli, who usually plays at the no.3 spot for team India, was seen opening the innings for team India in the 2nd ODI after Indian captain Rohit Sharma injured his thumb. Virat and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings for India, however, both players failed to give the team a good start and India suffered a narrow 5-run defeat against the hosts following a top-order collapse. As a result, the Indian side also lost the 3-match ODI series to Bangladesh by 2-0.
The decision to send Kohli to open the innings instead of regular opener KL Rahul, who is discharging the role of the wicketkeeper as Rishabh Pant has been rested for the series, surprised many. Several experts and cricketers slammed the decision of India to send Kohli to open the innings when regular opener KL Rahul was present.
Among many, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt also slammed the Indian team management for not sending KL Rahul to open the innings for India. He said Rahul should have opened for the side since he had been a specialist opener for the Indian team.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt said that the Indian team management shouldn’t have tried to shield Rahul. He said:
“Rohit Sharma ko injury hui, toh obviously Virat Kohli ne open kiya. Aapke paas KL Rahul regular opener hain, vo kyun nahi gaye open karne? Ispe behes ye hogi ki unhone wicketkeeping ki hui thi. Duniya me bohot saare players hain jo wicketkeeping ke saath open karte hain. Adam Gilchrist karte rahe, Kumar Sangakkara karte rahe, Quinton de Kock karte hain, kya ye utne fit nahi hain? Ajeeb si baat hai.”
(which roughly translates to: Rohit Sharma got injured and Virat Kohli opened. But you have a regular opener in KL Rahul, why did he not open? Some will argue that Rahul had kept wickets, but there have been a lot of players who have opened for the side after keeping wickets, like Gilchrist, Sangakkara and Quinton de Kock. Is Rahul not as fit as them? It`s very weird).
He added: “Cheezein settled nahi hain. Aisa lagta hai ki practice chal rahi hai”
(which roughly translates to: things are not settled. It seems India was taking it as a practice match).
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