India skipper Virat Kohli

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Jan 19 : India skipper Virat Kohli on Sunday cleared the air regarding as to who will keep wickets in the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand and went on to say that KL Rahul’s wicket-keeping skills serve the balance of the side better.

Regular keeper Rishabh Pant had gotten concussion in the first ODI of the series, and as a result, Rahul had to keep wickets in the second and third ODI.

In the second ODI, Rahul went on to score 80 runs and has shown good work behind the stumps in the matches that have followed.

Kohli’s words came after India’s 2-1 series win at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“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 after the third ODI.

“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.

India defeated Australia by seven wickets and with 15 balls to spare. Rohit Sharma and Kohli starred with the bat as the duo played knocks of 119 and 89 respectively.

Rahul failed with the bat as he scored just 19 runs, but Kohli confirmed that the side would not tinker their line-up for the first two T20Is against New Zealand.

“Well look we have what we have in the team. As I said, Rahul brings in balance into the side. We have to persist with it as he has done well. We have to see whether it works, you cannot chop and change. I do not see why we should change this playing XI,” Kohli said.

India will take on New Zealand in five T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests. The first T20I will be played on Friday, January 24.


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