Saba Karim believes the Indian team management has no option but to field Ishan Kishan as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner in the ODI series against West Indies.
Team India has been hit hard due to some of their players, including openers Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, returning positive COVID-19 test results. Certain reports suggest that Kishan, who was originally not included in the ODI squad, is likely to bat at the top of the order alongside Sharma.
During a discussion on India News, Saba Karim was asked about the development. He responded:
“You don’t have options left as well as your squad has been severely depleted because of the players who have gotten infected. Because of that, I feel we will see a new approach.”
The former India wicketkeeper-batter cast his vote in favor of Kishan opening with Sharma. Karim reasoned:
“This will be the right combination as well because if Ishan Kishan opens with Rohit Sharma, the sort of character Ishan has, his strike rate is always high, which means he can take advantage of the powerplay.”
Saba Karim added that Kishan’s tendency to take the attack to the opposition bowlers will help the Indian skipper. He explained:
“It will provide more time for Rohit Sharma to get settled because he is a player who can play for a long time due to which India will also benefit. I feel this right and left-handed combination where both have different styles of playing, Kishan takes more risks on one side because of which the strike rate is very high.”
Kishan has played just two ODIs for Team India thus far, both against Sri Lanka. He smashed 60 runs at an excellent strike rate of 130.43 in those games, with a top score of 59.
“Ishan Kishan’s track record in the Vijay Hazare Trophy is exceptional” – Saba Karim
Saba Karim was also asked whether Mayank Agarwal has only been included in the Indian squad as a backup option. He replied:
“I feel it is the right choice. Mayank Agarwal has been kept as a backup in the team at the moment. The other reason is also that Ishan Kishan’s track record in the Vijay Hazare Trophy is exceptional. He has hit hundreds many times and whenever he hits a century it is a big one.”
The 54-year-old concluded by saying that it will be beneficial for Team India in the long run if Kishan succeeds at the top of the order. Karim explained:
“It will be a very big value add for the Indian team if Ishan Kishan opens and plays a good knock for the team. This move will help us bring the change in the Indian team’s white-ball template we have been frequently talking about.”
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There have been calls from a few cricket experts for Team India to adopt a more aggressive approach with the bat in ODI cricket. Ishan Kishan’s presence at the top of the order might help the cause.
Q. Will Ishan Kishan open with Rohit Sharma in the first ODI vs West Indies?
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