India batting coach Vikram Rathour has backed senior batter Virat Kohli to ‘bat well and score big runs’ in the upcoming three-match T20I series against the West Indies, starting from Wednesday. Kohli, going through a lean patch with the bat, registered scores of 8, 18 and 0 in the ODIs against the West Indies in Ahmedabad.
“No specific conversations. I don’t think he is going through a lean phase. I mean, at least in this format, T20s and ODIs, he’s done really well, lately. I understand he had a relatively poor series against the West Indies. But no conversations as such.”
“I mean he’s batting really well in the nets and we are really happy with the kind of preparations he has been putting in. So, no conversations, I am certain that one of these innings (in the T20 series), he will bat well and score big runs,” said Rathour in the virtual press conference.
Asked if India had zeroed on a batting style and structure in the run-up to the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year, Rathour remarked, “That is the focus. We are working towards the World Cup in Australia. The kind of batting we have, once we have our full team, unfortunately, we are struggling a little bit with injuries at the moment, there are few people who are missing out.”
“Till we have everybody available, it’s difficult to know what everybody’s role is going to be. So far, that is the focus. We are looking at Australia and have started our preparations and thinking towards it. The kind of batting we have, I don’t think we have any issues. All our batters are capable of batting well in those conditions and do well.”
Rathour felt the experiment to open with Rishabh Pant in T20Is is something which is undecided as of now. “We haven’t really decided that yet. We still have a couple of days to go. We had a travel and rest day yesterday. Today is our first practice day. Once we get to look at the wicket and the kind of surface we are playing at, we will see. We have options available. KL is out, I understand. But we have Ishan (Kishan) and Ruturaj (Gaikwad) in the mix. So, we will see what we feel like and what the team management feels like once we get closer to the game.”
Rathour acknowledged that playing in big grounds like Ahmedabad and Kolkata comes as essential preparation for the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia due to the big boundaries at these two venues. “Of course, it is. The closest we can get to the real thing, the better it is. That’s what we want, like bigger boundaries so that we can test ourselves against those kinds of conditions.”