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Asia Cup 2023

‘When you’re gearing up to win the World Cup, you don’t see..’ – Former India player speaks on KL Rahul vs Ishan Kishan debate for middle-order

Ishan has registered scores of 82, 77, 55, and 52 in the four outings that the southpaw has played in ODIs

Ishan Kishan, India

The middle-order muddle for the Indian team seems to have intensified more as KL Rahul is back in the squad after injury and also that Ishan Kishan has been performing on a consistent basis with four half-centuries in the last four innings. Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has expressed his opinion that considering Ishan Kishan’s recent batting performances, he believes the team’s management should choose Ishan Kishan over KL Rahul in the playing XI for the 2023 ODI World Cup.

It’s worth noting that the All-India Senior Men’s Selection Committee has maintained a core team from the Asia Cup squad for the upcoming World Cup, scheduled to be held in India from October 5. The selection committee faces a challenging decision in finalizing the middle-order batting lineup and deciding between Rahul and Ishan. Gambhir has shared his perspective on this matter, stating that Ishan’s recent batting successes position him as the top contender to secure a spot in the playing XI ahead of Rahul.

KL Rahul could be a part of the Playing XI for the Super Fours

It’s noteworthy that Ishan Kishan has exhibited impressive form recently, recording scores of 82, 77, 55, and 52 in his last four ODIs. In contrast, KL Rahul is making a comeback to the ODI team following a break due to a knee injury he suffered during the IPL 2023. Interestingly, Rahul is scheduled to be part of the squad in the upcoming match against Pakistan during the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2023, slated for Sunday, September 10th.

“Tell me something, what is more important to win a championship — name or form? If Rohit (Sharma) or Virat (Kohli) had scored something similar (four consecutive fifties), would you still say that KL Rahul would replace them? The point is, when you’re gearing up to win the World Cup, you don’t see the name, you judge by their form. You choose the player who can perform and win you the World Cup. I feel Ishan Kishan has done everything he needs to do to be a frontrunner,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.

The former India opener also went on to emphasize his position once more, stating that if players of the caliber of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were in Ishan’s position, there would be no room for KL Rahul in the team. “Just because he is Ishan Kishan and hasn’t played a lot of international cricket, you’re saying that KL Rahul should play before him. But if Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma were in place of Ishan Kishan, would KL Rahul be able to replace them? The answer is ‘no’,” Gambhir added.


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