By CricketCountry Staff
Melbourne: Dec 23, 2011
Middle-order batsman Virat Kohli is likely to earn a place in India’s playing XI ahead of Rohit Sharma for the first Test match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting December 26.
“Virat will be in the final XI, not Rohit… this is almost certain,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by NewsX.
Virat, who seems to have won the race for the No. 6 spot against Rohit, scored a fine century in the second warm-up game against Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. He scored 132 off 171 balls hitting two sixes and 18 boundaries to revive India when they were reeling at 84 for four.
Rohit has been in a brilliant form, scored 47 in the same match. However, the right-handed Mumbai batsman had scored a fine unbeaten 56 in the first warm-up game against the same opposition.
A few days ago, Virat had refuted that there is any competition with Rohit for the sixth spot in the star-studded Indian batting line-up.
"We know in future we are going to play for the team so I don't see any competition in that, it's just a matter of who gets to play when, who gets into that zone and start scoring runs," Kohli said after his unbeaten 55 at the Manuka Oval in the run-up to the four-match Test series starting December 26.
"I kept being asked this question, there is always competition for a particular spot in the team. You've 2-3 good players waiting to grab the chance."
While Kohli's consistency over the past one year has helped him stake claim for the number six spot, Sharma, after his brilliant batting display against the West Indies recently, is giving the Delhi lad competition.
"We (Rohit and himself) have had some good stands together. It's good for Indian cricket, in future when the situation arises, then we have a better understanding. It's a healthy competition and it's good for the team."