Sunil Gavaskar: Rohit Sharma Will Definitely Open Against Afghanistan
So as India heads into a crucial must-win encounter against Afghanistan, the Playing XI will once again be the cynosure of all eyes. Questions persist whether Suryakumar Yadav, who missed the previous game due to back spasms but underwent extensive fitness drills on the eve of the Afghanistan match, will return to the squad. Ishan Kishan then will miss out on another opportunity.
Weighing in on the combination, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels the team will not stick to the opening pair from the previous match and expects Rohit Sharma to return as an opener along with KL Rahul. For the crunch Afghanistan tie, Sunil Gavaskar reckons things will change, and India will go ahead with their trusted pair.
“I think in this game, Rohit will open with Rahul and Virat will come in at No. 3. At No. 4 or 5 Ishan Kishan should come. We don’t even know if Suryakumar Yadav is fit. He was not dropped but he had some issues in the back which is why Ishan Kishan played in his place. But if he is fit, Suryakumar is likely to return,” Gavaskar said.
Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli all perished cheaply against New Zealand as India lost their first four wickets with only 48 on the board within 10 overs. India ended up posting 110 for 7 in stipulated 20 overs, in which they didn’t effectively score runs in nine of those overs (54 dot balls).
Sunil Gavaskar: Ishan Kishan If Picked Will Bat In The Middle Order
As for Ishan Kishan, if he plays, Sunil Gavaskar feels the ideal position for him will be in the middle-order, especially if he comes to bat at the fag end of the innings. Being the destructive player that Ishan Kishan is, Sunil Gavaskar is confident that the 23-year-old can be a handy option for India with overs running out.
“I think Ishan should bat at either No. 4 or 5. It will be good for him because when he comes to bat, I am guessing around 4-5 overs will be left and he can swing his bat as much as he wants. At the start, there is some problem because he does not know the manner in which to bat, how many runs are needed. That is the only change I see happening. Rohit returns to his opening position and Ishan, if he plays, will bat at either No. 4 or 5,” explained Gavaskar.
The Indian batsmen Ishan Kishan (4 off 8 balls), Rohit Sharma (14 off 14 balls), KL Rahul (18 off 16), Virat Kohli (9 off 17), Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) failed when it mattered most against New Zealand, losing the second successive match after the one against Pakistan where Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3) failed as openers.