Ishan Kishan’s Batting Slot in Spotlight as India Prepares to Take on Pakistan in Asia Cup Opener

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New Delhi: Indian Cricket Team Deliberates Batting Slot for Ishan Kishan in Asia Cup Opening Match Against Pakistan

Pivotal Question for Team Management

As the Indian cricket team prepares for their opening match against Pakistan in the Asia Cup on September 2, one of the pivotal questions remains over the batting slot for left-handed wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan. With KL Rahul unavailable for the first two games of the tournament, Kishan is set to step into the role, but the team management is deliberating on where to position him in the batting order.

Kishan’s Recent Success and Speculation

Kishan’s recent success as an opener in India’s ODI series against the West Indies has led to speculation about his batting position. In that series, he amassed an impressive 184 runs in three matches, boasting an average of 61.33 with scores of 52, 55, and 77.

Support from Former Indian Coach

Former Indian coach Ravi Shastri has voiced his support for Kishan opening, highlighting his aggressive approach as a potential advantage for India. However, with Rohit Sharma’s return to the side and his claim on one opening slot, the team strategists are faced with the challenge of optimizing Kishan’s position.

Possible Lineup Configurations

  • If Kishan takes up the opening role, Shubman Gill might need to shift to No. 3, while Virat Kohli would occupy the No. 4 slot. This configuration would mean that Shreyas Iyer, returning to the team, would move to No. 5. Consequently, Hardik Pandya would enter at No. 6, leaving no room for Suryakumar Yadav in the lineup.
  • Alternatively, India could explore a lineup featuring Rohit and Gill as openers, Kohli at No. 4, and Shreyas Iyer at No. 5, thereby accommodating Kishan at No. 3.
  • Another possibility is to integrate Kishan into the middle-order, where he has demonstrated a reasonable performance at No. 4, notching up two fifties in four innings.

Kishan’s Lack of Experience at Certain Positions

While the team management is considering multiple options, the concern arises from Kishan’s lack of experience at certain positions. Despite his successful stints as an opener and a middle-order batsman, Kishan has not batted in the No. 5 position throughout his 17-match ODI career.

Sanju Samson as the Travelling Reserve

In the backdrop of Rahul’s injury, Sanju Samson has been designated as the travelling reserve. However, his inclusion would only be possible if one of the players, Rahul in this instance, is officially ruled out of the Asia Cup, making Samson’s role limited in the current scenario.

With inputs from PTI

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