India will square off against Sri Lanka in three ODIs after the conclusion of the T20I series on Saturday, January 07.
The BCCI recently named India’s ODI squad for the upcoming matches of the 2020-23 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. The selectors have picked Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill for the opening slot, while left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan has been dropped from the team following his low scores in the last couple of games.
Reacting to the selection, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has made his choice of player who should open the innings with captain Rohit in the Sri Lanka ODIs.
Kishan smashed a brilliant double century on the Bangladesh tour while opening the batting alongside Dhawan in the third and last ODI. Gambhir believes the young left-handed batter should be allowed to continue his role against Sri Lanka.
“I’m amazed we’re discussing this because someone’s got a double-hundred in the previous innings. The discussion is over. It has to be Ishan Kishan. Someone who can get a double-hundred in those conditions against a reasonable attack, especially at home, should play,” Gambhir was quoted as saying to ESPNcricinfo.
“He got what 200 by the 35th over mark? You can’t look at anyone beyond Ishan Kishan. He has to be given a longer run. He can also keep wickets as well, so he can do two jobs for you. So, for me, that discussion shouldn’t be there.
“If someone else had got a double-hundred, I think we would’ve gone gung-ho over that individual, but it’s not the case with Ishan Kishan. Because we still continue to talk about other players. For me, that debate is over,” the veteran opener added.
When asked about his ideal India XI in ODIs, Gambhir said: “It’s very difficult to look beyond Rohit and Ishan Kishan to open the batting, Virat Kohli at three, Suryakumar Yadav at four, and Shreyas Iyer at five, because he’s been incredible in the last one-and-a-half years.
“Yes, Iyer’s had issues against the short ball, but he’s been able to manage it. You can’t be the best against everything but if you’re able to manage it and got the numbers going for you, you can’t look beyond Shreyas at No. 5 and Hardik Pandya at 6,” the Delhi-lad signed off.