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Virat Kohli: India captain keen to continue as opener in T20 after starring in win over England

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“I feel we have a solid middle order and now it’s about the two best players getting the maximum number of balls in T20 cricket”; Virat Kohli indicates that he will stay at the top of the order for India in T20Is after hitting 80no in fifth T20 against England

Virat Kohli made an unbeaten 80 at the top of the order as India beat England in the T20 series decider

Virat Kohli made an unbeaten 80 at the top of the order as India beat England in the T20 series decider

Virat Kohli has stated his desire to remain at the top of the order for India in T20 cricket after helping his side to a series-clinching win over England.

The India skipper opened for the first time in the series and scored an unbeaten 80 from 52 balls as the hosts racked up a mammoth 224-2 on their way to a 36-run victory.

Rohit Sharma made a rapid 64 in a 94-run opening stand with Kohli, who is keen to continue the partnership ahead of the T20 World Cup in the autumn, having batted at three or four in the first four games against England.

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“I have batted in a few positions, but I feel we have a solid middle order and now it’s about the two best players getting the maximum number of balls in T20 cricket,” said Kohli as he also confirmed he will open the batting for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2021 Indian League, which starts next month.

“I would definitely like to partner Rohit up the top. If we have a partnership then you know that one of us will cause serious damage.

“The other guys feel more confident when one of us is set. They can come in and play freely. It augurs well for the team.”

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Kohli wants to continue his opening partnership with Rohit Sharma ahead of the T20 World Cup Kohli wants to continue his opening partnership with Rohit Sharma ahead of the T20 World Cup

While Kohli led the way for India, scoring 231 runs at an average of 115.50 across the five matches, established batsmen such as Rohit and Shreyas Iyer also fired.

The home side were boosted by the performances of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav.

The pair have starred for Mumbai Indians in the IPL for a number of years now and were both handed debuts in the series, registering a half-century apiece to highlight India’s incredible bench strength across all formats.

Sky Sports pundit and former England captain Mike Atherton believes that is a key reason why Kohli’s side are likely to go into the T20 World Cup on home soil as the team to beat.

“They probably have more strength in depth because of the IPL and the T20 cricket they play and the fact they have just beaten England without probably three main bowlers,” Atherton told Sky Sports.

“Put all those things together, and the fact they are playing at home, then they are the team to beat.

“It won’t be a cakewalk – England are a very good side and West Indies and other sides are dangerous as well – but if you priced it up, you would say India are favourites.”

Watch England’s first ODI against India, in Pune, live from 7.30am on Tuesday on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event. You will also be able to follow text commentary and in-play clips through our live blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.

Watch India v England on Sky Sports Cricket for just £18 extra a month

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