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Robin Uthappa names KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma as India's 'top' openers

According to Robin Uthappa, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are India's first-choice openers for the forthcoming T20 World Cup. Uthappa made the statement on Vimal Kumar’s Youtube channel.

At one point, both Rahul and Sharma put up dominant performances, particularly when they opened for India in all three forms. Together, the pair is known to have scored 1089 runs, averaging 51.85 in T20 Internationals. Those average records are ranked second-best by Pakistan's Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

According to reports, both experts and fans have been harshly critical of how the opening pair started out, particularly in the current Asia Cup and following their most recent setbacks at the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Although their teammates Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, and Hardik Pandya appeared trustworthy in their prior performance, reports claimed that the opening pair of skipper Sharma and Rahul have been underwhelming thus far.

Rahul reportedly received criticism for his 36-run innings in 39 balls against Hong Kong. This was only the player's second T20I game since his injury recovery.

When asked about the performance of the Indian openers on Kumar's YouTube channel, Uthappa responded in a statement by saying that Rahul and Sharma should both be the preferred opening duo.

“KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma should be the first-choice opening pair, no doubt. If there are any fitness or injury concerns, then Pant can also do the job at the top of the order,” said Uthappa.

He continued by saying that there are "way too many options" and that Indian players are willing to play in the playing XI.

“There are way too many options, and there is too much flexibility. Everyone can open the innings and there is so much competition in this country that players are ready to play anywhere in the playing XI.”

However, it has been highlighted that a lot of people are concerned about the Indian openers' conservative style of play, which doesn't fit with the demands of the modern game.

Uthappa on game's development

When asked about the game's evolution in recent years, Uthappa responded that every player has grown with new shots in the current game.

“The style has changed a lot since my days, the game has evolved quite a lot," he asserted. "The game has gone through an evolution, especially in the last seven years."

“I feel that the game has evolved so much and so fast since 2015. Now each and every player is a 360-degree player, any player can bat like de Villiers now,” he said.

Furthermore, Uthappa continued by saying that Sharma has also begun to play "the unorthodox shots," highlighting the fact that modern fans may enjoy the evolution.

“Even Rohit Sharma has started to play the unorthodox shots. The evolution might not be enjoyed by traditional viewers, but it is highly enjoyable for contemporary viewers,” Uthappa added.

India had a strong start to their 2022 Asia Cup campaign, defeating longtime foe Pakistan in their first game before triumphing decisively over Hong Kong.

India has thus won the group and joined Afghanistan as the second team to advance to the coveted Super Four stage.

On September 4, India will face Pakistan in their opening Super 4 encounter.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.