Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir breathed a sigh of relief as Ishan Kishan was retained in India’s XI for the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match against Pakistan. With KL Rahul declared fit, there were questions about Ishan’s place in the team. However, Indian captain Rohit Sharma found a place for both Ishan and Rahul in the playing XI as Shreyas Iyer had to miss the match due to a back spasm. Gambhir was relieved to see Ishan not sacrificed for Rahul after the kind of performance he put up in the last outing against Pakistan.
“It would have been a shame if Ishan Kishan had missed. Shreyas Iyer is missing due to back spasms. It’s a great opportunity for KL Rahul, purely as a batsman. He comes off the field after a long break. I’m sure he’ll will be nervous but it will be another great opportunity,” Gambhir said in a chat on Star Sports after the toss.
India skipper Rohit Sharma explained the changes in the squad, with the returning Jasprit Bumrah also given a place in the playing XI in favor of Mohammed Shami.
Despite the return of KL Rahul, Gambhir believes the Indian middle class is ‘vulnerable’, especially against a quality attack like Pakistan.
“But India look vulnerable in the middle order. They have someone like KL Rahul at number 4. He has not batted in the last seven-eight months. Ishan Kishan has batted only once at number five. Then you have Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja,” Gambhir said.
“Pakistan would feel that if they can get 2-3 early wickets, they will be in that shaky middle order, which could be a bit iffy,” he added.
With Rahul, Ishan and Iyer all vying for the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the Indian team, it is only possible for the management to select two out of the three.
India playing XI:Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Topics mentioned in this article