Team India Coach Confirms KL Rahul to Miss Opening Two Games of Asia Cup 2023
Rahul Dravid assures Ishan Kishan will keep the wickets in Rahul’s absence
Team India coach Rahul Dravid confirmed on Tuesday that KL Rahul is set to miss the opening two games of the upcoming Asia Cup 2023, including the high-octane clash against Pakistan on September 2. Ishan Kishan is thus likely to keep the wickets while Rahul is still recovering from a niggle. The injury is not related to the thigh issue that he picked up during IPL 2023 and thus had to miss out on the action in the months leading up to the Asia Cup, informed captain Rohit Sharma recently.
Questioning Ishan Kishan’s Batting Position
Rahul could be back to full fitness for the Super 4 games of the Asia Cup and therefore, former India opener Aakash Chopra took to X (formerly Twitter), and raised a valid question regarding Kishan’s batting position.
Opening Possibilities Against Pakistan
Ishan has previously played at number 4, but in the ODI series against the West Indies, he opened alongside Shubman Gill with captain Rohit Sharma rested.
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That will not be the case against Pakistan, as Chopra questioned whether Rohit and Ishan will be seen opening against Babar Azam’s men, or will Ishan Kishan feature at number 4.
“KLR (KL Rahul) unavailable for the first two games. Opens up a host of discussion points…does Ishan open? If yes, where will Shubman bat?” questioned Chopra.
The former Indian opener’s post read further, “Or Rohit-Gill-Ishan bat 1-2-3 and then Kohli bats at 4? Or Rohit-Gill open…Kohli at 3 and Ishan at 5? Or Gill gets benched and Tilak/SKY bat at 5?”
Dilemma of Ishan Kishan’s Batting Position
It was a completely valid point raised by Aakash Chopra as Ishan Kishan hasn’t excelled at number 4, he opens for Mumbai Indians in the IPL and he smashed three back-to-back fifties against West Indies during the recent ODIs. But with Rohit and Gill present up top, there is no scope to accommodate the Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batter without changing either Rohit or Shubman’s batting position.
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Gill’s Struggle and Finding the Right Balance
Gill had played at number 3 against West Indies in the Test series to accommodate a young Yashasvi Jaiswal but the Punjab batter failed to score big in his four innings, he was underwhelming in the ODIs too barring a single fifty.
Thus, Rahul’s absence in the first two games of the Asia Cup will again force Rahul Dravid and Rohit to get creative and somehow find the right balance with Kishan’s best batting position still not clear.
first published: August 29, 2023, 16:32 IST
last updated: August 29, 2023, 16:32 IST