'Rahul probably has more ability than Rohit, Virat': Gautam Gambhir makes bold statement amid calls to change India's openers
Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir is not happy with the idea of using Virat Kohli as an opener at the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir is not happy with the idea of using Virat Kohli as an opener at the upcoming T20 World Cup. According to the former India opener, replacing KL Rahul with Virat Kohli as the designated opener will make the player insecure about his place in the team.
Following his century in India's final Super 4s match of their unsuccessful Asia Cup against Afghanistan, many wanted Kohli to replace KL Rahul as the designated opener for India. However, Gambhir is of the opinion that people are forgetting his contributions over the last few years. The duo also worked together with Indian Premier League (IPL) newbies Lucknow Super Giants.
"You know what happens in India? The moment someone starts doing very well... for example, when Virat Kohli scored a hundred in the last game, we all start forgetting what Rahul and Rohit have done over a long period of time," Gambhir said on Star Sports during a virtual press conference ahead of India's T20I series against Australia.
"When you talk about Kohli opening the batting, imagine what happens to KL Rahul? Imagine the amount of insecurity he must be feeling. Imagine if he gets a low score in the first game, there will be another debate on whether Kohli should open in the next game.
"You don't want your top-class players in that position, especially KL Rahul who has probably got more ability than Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli. Imagine KL Rahul going into the World Cup thinking, 'what if I don't score runs against Pakistan? What if I get replaced by Virat Kohli?' You don't want that."
In the absence of Rohit Sharma, Kohli opened alongside Rahul against Afghanistan and ended his three-year century drought. He finished the Asia Cup as India's highest run-scorer and overall the second-highest run-getter with 276 runs in five matches at a strike rate of 147.59. He remained unbeaten with his 122 against Afghanistan.
He also used the example of Rohit and said that the current India skipper would feel equally insecure if put in a similar position, "That's the reason we shouldn't entertain that question. Think from India's point of view. Think from KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma's points of view. Well, Rohit is the captain right now. Imagine if he was not the captain, what would he have felt? Everything falls down on KL Rahul. We should start thinking about how India can flourish, rather than certain individuals."