Good dilemma to have: Rathour on opening combination

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12 Jan 2020 | 03:08 PM
authorAFP

Good dilemma to have: Rathour on opening combination

Rathour cleared the air surrounding key positions in the India's batting order

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In Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, India are spoilt for choice at the top of the order, but batting coach Vikram Rathour on Sunday called it a "good dilemma" to have.

Rohit had a phenomenal 2019, having struck five centuries in the World Cup. Dhawan, who made a comeback in the T20 side in the just-concluded three-match series against Sri Lanka, was also among the runs, while Rahul, too, is having a great time with the bat.

"It's a good dilemma to have. Rohit is an obvious choice of course. Both of them (Shikhar and Rahul) are playing well. Shikhar has done well in one- dayers and Rahul is in great form. So we'll deal with it when we have to," Rathour said.

"There are still a couple of days to go. The management will sit down and make the choice," he told reporters ahead of the first ODI against Australia.

The series starts in Mumbai on January 14. The second ODI will be played in Rajkot on January 17 and the third in Bengaluru on January 19.

The batting coach also seems to be tired of answering questions on young batsman Rishabh Pant's roller coaster journey at every media interaction.

The 22-year-old Roorkee-born Pant, who is the team's first choice white-ball wicket-keeper, has so far played 15 ODIs, and scored only 346 runs. He made 71 in the first ODI against West Indies in Chennai last December and followed it up with a quickfire 39 in Visakhapatnam.

"Rishabh Pant, I think we have spoken a lot about him and every press-conference I do, I face a question about him. He's a good player. Everybody agrees on that," Rathour said on Sunday.

"He's working hard on his fitness. He's played some useful innings lately. He's practising hard, so hoping he comes good, becomes more consistent, Rathor added.

Rathour also lauded pacer Shardul Thakur for his batting skills, saying he gives an option in the late batting order.

Thakur played match-winning cameos in the series deciding ODI versus West Indies at Cuttack and third and final T20 against Sri Lanka in Pune.

"It's all his good work (and) I'm not doing anything. He's somebody who can bat, all of us knew that. The last couple of games he got the opportunity to show what he can do. So he gives you a great option in late order," said Rathour.

India played six different batsmen at number three position in last six T20 games.

Would the hosts follow the same in ODIs?

"We did that in T20s, because we were willing to give them some game time. So against Australia in the first game, well start with our best XI. And I think everyone will bat according to tried order. And as the series goes, well see if we can experiment and try something different."

Asked about the relevance of the series in a T20 World Cup year, Rathour said, "It's a different format and cricket is a game of confidence. So as a batter and bowler, especially when you are playing against a team like Australia, who are one of the better teams in the world, performances do make a difference. It gives you a lot of confidence."

"We'll take it as any other series and playing against one of the better sides in the world, we are looking to do well as a team, looking to perform and win if possible," added the batting coach.

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