After dominating West Indies in the Test series, the Indian team is all set to take on the hosts in a 3-match ODI series. This will serve as great preparation for the home ODI World Cup. West Indies will not be part of the marquee tournament since they failed to qualify for the tournament last month, but they can never be taken lightly. While Team India aims to deliver solid performances, there are a few concerns around their batting order. One of the main challenges for Team India is the absence of their first-choice wicketkeeper, KL Rahul.
In the existing squad, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson have been selected as the wicket-keeper batters, but the question remains as to where they will bat.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra addressed this issue while speaking on his YouTube channel and said that wicket-keepers need to have a defined role and a consistent batting position. He pointed out that if KL Rahul is unavailable due to injury, Sanju Samson would likely come in as a replacement since there is a spot in the middle-order. However, he was not quite certain about Ishan Kishan’s role in the side.
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“If Rahul remains injured, Sanju Samson will come in. Because there’s place in the middle-order but no space in the opening order. Can Ishan Kishan play in the middle-order? He might, but you haven’t played him there yet,” Aakash Chopra said.
He went on to add that Shubman Gill has made the opening slot his own and hence, it might be difficult for Ishan Kishan to find a place in the top order. Aakash Chopra also stressed the need for a second wicketkeeper to bat in the same position as the first-choice keeper.
“If KL Rahul gets injured and isn’t available for selection, you have Ishan Kishan as back-up. But Ishan opens. So, will he be slotted in the opening role and you would send Shubman Gill down? Or will Ishan play in the middle-order, knowing that you haven’t played him in that role long enough?” Aakash Chopra added.
The upcoming ODI series will give an opportunity to Rohit Sharma and Team India to solve this conundrum and then give the players a long rope leading into the World Cup slated to be held later this year.
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