Addressing a virtual press conference ahead of the five-match T20I series opener against England in Ahmedabad, India captain Virat Kohli has confirmed the opening combination of his team.

Kohli said that Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul would be the first-choice as opening pair for the Men in Blue as Shikhar Dhawan comes in as the third opener.

“If Rohit plays, it’s simple. KL [Rahul] and Rohit have been consistently performing at the top. If either of them take rest, Shikhar is the third opener. Rohit and Rahul will start,” Kohli said.

Further, when asked if India are favourites to lift the T20 World Cup, Kohli said, “No, I think England are favourites. They are the No 1 side in the world, all teams will be wary of their strengths.”

Kohli also provided an update on Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness. The Meerut-born seam bowler has been out of the national team for a long time, owing to a thigh muscle injury since the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“Bhuvneshwar Kumar is shaping up really well. He has worked really well to get back to be 100%. He’s a smart operator with the ball. India want him to contribute to many more wins. He’s the guy you can bank on,” added Kohli.

The T20I leg will be India’s first preparatory series for the T20 World Cup that will be held in India in October-November.

India vs England T20I fixtures:

  • March 12, 1st T20I in Ahmedabad at 7:30 PM IST
  • March 14, 2nd T20I in Ahmedabad at 7:30 PM IST
  • March 16, 3rd T20I in Ahmedabad at 7:30 PM IST
  • March 18, 4th T20I in Ahmedabad at 7:30 PM IST
  • March 20, 5th T20I in Ahmedabad at 7:30 PM IST

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