KL Rahul is a quality and Champion player, says Virat Kohli after 3rd T20I defeat against England


Ind vs Eng, Eng beats Ind, 3rd T20I: After suffering an eight-wicket loss in the third T20I here at Narendra Modi Stadium, India skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday said opener KL Rahul is a champion player and hence he will continue to be one of the main batsmen of the Indian side.

Kohli played an unbeaten inning of 77 to guide India to 156/6, but the total did not prove enough as Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow made light work of the chase to hand England a victory by eight wickets. Buttler and Bairstow remained unbeaten on 83 and 40 respectively.

Opening batsman KL Rahul has recorded scores of 1,0, and 0 but skipper Kohli has made it clear that Rahul will continue to be backed by the team as he is their main batter.

“I was going through a lean patch two days back. He (KL Rahul) has been a champions player. He’ll continue to be one of our main players along with Rohit at the top of the order. It’s a matter of five-six balls in this format,” Kohli told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.

Speaking about his own knock, Kohli said: “You don’t want to play knocks which don’t help the team in any way. It was a bit difficult to bat against the new ball. Their bowlers were hitting good areas. We got one little partnership, it was important for me to bat deep. The case was to get set and try to get a decent total.”

“If you lose the toss, embrace what’s been asked of you. England bowlers were brilliant with the new ball, made our lives difficult. We tried to come back, I don’t think our body language in the second innings was good,” he added.

Earlier, skipper Virat Kohli’s unbeaten knock of 77 runs off just 46 balls helped India post 156/6 in the allotted 20 overs. Down and out going into the last five overs of the innings, Kohli led from the front in all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s company as the duo added 69 runs from 30 balls to take the hosts’ total past the 150-run mark.

Hardik had joined Kohli with the score on 86/5 in 14.3 overs and what followed was nothing short of a master-class on power-hitting. Interestingly, it was Hardik who played second-fiddle in their 70-run partnership off just 33 balls as Kohli went on a hitting spree. This was India’s highest sixth-wicket partnership in T20Is.

With the win in the third T20I, England has now gained a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. Both teams will now meet in the fourth T20I on Thursday which will be played at the same venue.


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