Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir feels wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan should continue being India’s No. 5 in the Asia Cup despite KL Rahul’s availability for their upcoming games.
Kishan scored a sensational 82 against Pakistan on Saturday and showed great maturity under extreme pressure. Gambhir shed light on how good the southpaw’s form has been with four fifties in his last four ODIs.
Speaking to Star Sports after India’s World Cup squad was announced, here’s what Gautam Gambhir had to say about Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul:
“I feel Ishan Kishan has done everything he needs to do to be a frontrunner. Just because he is Ishan Kishan and hasn’t played a lot of international cricket, you’re saying that KL Rahul should play before him. But if Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma were in place of Ishan Kishan, would KL Rahul be able to replace them? The answer is ‘no’.”
Don’t choose the name, see the form: Gautam Gambhir
Many feel that despite Ishan’s performance, KL Rahul should walk back into the XI when fit as the latter has been a mainstay in India’s middle order over the past few years. However, Gautam Gambhir disagreed with this thought, explaining how important current form is when it comes to World Cup cricket.
On this, he stated:
“Tell me something, what is more important to win a championship — name or form? If Rohit (Sharma) or Virat (Kohli) had scored something similar (four consecutive fifties), would you still say that KL Rahul would replace them? The point is, when you’re gearing up to win the World Cup, you don’t see the name, you judge by their form. You choose the player who can perform and win you the World Cup.”
Both Rahul and Kishan are likely to be available for selection for India’s Asia Cup Super-Fours clash against Pakistan and it will be interesting to see who gets the nod on Sunday, September 10.
India’s World Cup 2023 squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav.