Looking forward to good starts from Rohit and Gill, says Kohli

Published: February 4,2021 09:17 PM

Story highlights

February 4, 2021: Indian skipper Virat Kohli has assured batsmen Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will be given a lengthy run as openers in the longest format of the game.

February 4, 2021: Indian batsmen Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill provided the side a solid platform in the third and fourth Test against Australia, and skipper Virat Kohli has assured the duo will be given a lengthy run as openers in the longest format of the game.

India had struggled in recent times to find a solid opening pair, but the return of Rohit in the third Test against Australia made it possible as he combined beautifully with newcomer Gill to register India's first 50-plus stand for the opening wicket in 14 innings in January last month.

Kohli highlighted how good starts pave the way for a solid platform in Test cricket and said the team is looking forward to many more of those from Rohit and Gill.

"We are looking forward to them (Rohit, Shubman Gill) play all Tests and give us good starts and if you look at the Tests that we won the reason behind was the starts we got in the games," Kohli said during the pre-match virtual press conference on Thursday.

"In Test cricket that's a very very important factor, Rohit and Shubman both provided us with that and we are looking forward to more of those starts from them. We are looking forward to good starts from them in all the Test matches," he added.

Kohli also confirmed that Rishabh Pant will be starting the first Test match against England which gets underway on Friday as the front line wicket-keeper.

India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, three ODIs, and five T20Is. The first two games of the Test series will be played in Chennai before the cricketers move to Ahmedabad for the third and fourth Test.

Both Pant and Wriddhiman Saha have been included in India's squad for the first two Tests against England. Kohli highlighted how Pant played a massive role in India's win over Australia in the Test series last month and confirmed that the hosts will go ahead with Pant for the first Test.

"Yes, Rishabh (Pant) will start tomorrow. He had a massive impact in Australia and is in a good headspace and we want him to build on this along with all the aspects of his game which will happen with time," said Kohli during the virtual press conference on Thursday.

"He's come along very nicely after the IPL and then in Australia, he wasn't the part of white-ball formats but he kept working worked hard in his fitness and in his game," he further said.

"All of us were very happy to see him because he is someone who we have backed quite a lot for good reasons and because of what we saw in Australia and that shows that he brings a lot of value he can definitely be a consistent match-winner for India," Kohli added.

The first Test will be played from Friday, while the second is slated to begin on February 13.