India Vs Sri Lanka 2017

India vs West Indies: Virat Kohli says Ajinkya Rahane will open in all five ODIs

West Indies are currently ranked ninth at the ICC ODI rankings and they are still uncertain of a spot in the 2019 World Cup but Virat Kohli said that his side cannot take any team lightly.
A file image of Ajinkya Rahane. - India TV Source: GETTY IMAGES
India TV Sports Desk New Delhi June 23, 2017 11:27 IST

India captain Virat Kohli has said Ajinkya Rahane will open the batting alongside Shikhar Dhawan in the five-match series against West Indies starting from Friday. Regular opener Rohit Sharma, who opened for India in the recently-concluded Champions Trophy, has been rested for the limited-overs tour to West Indies, which also includes one T20I. Kohli's decision to open with Rahane also means that explosive young batsman Rishabh Pant has to wait for his turn in the middle-order. 

"We have Ajinkya who we had as a back-up opener in the Champions Trophy. He will start for sure with Shikhar Dhawan in West Indies series. He is someone who has done well at the opener's slot," Kohli said ahead of the first match against West Indies in Port of Spain on Friday.

"Rahane has batted in the middle order also but we see him to be more powerful in the opening slot, that is where he can play his game the best. So, during the course of all these five games, Ajinkya will open," Kohli added. 

West Indies are currently ranked ninth at the ICC ODI rankings and they are still uncertain of a spot in the 2019 World Cup but Kohli said that his side cannot take any team lightly.

"In international cricket, every game is an opportunity for the players to go out and do something. It improves your confidence whenever you come out at the international level and play. It is not about taking any opposition lightly.

"You have to come out and play good consistent cricket. It is another series we are looking to play good cricket. I am absolutely certain that the players are committed to playing their best," Kohli said.

Asked about the mindset of the players after just coming out of a high-profile tournament like the Champions Trophy, he said: "It is a lovely atmosphere to be a part of after a high-profile tournament like the Champions Trophy. It is great to be in a relaxing place. All the players are relaxed and are looking forward to some cricket in the West Indies where cricket is always enjoyed because of the way culture is here. It is pretty relaxed and you are at ease. As such, it is always a nice feeling coming here."

(With PTI inputs)

 
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