Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra wants India to play with Ishan Kishan and not bring KL Rahul back into their playing XI for their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash against Pakistan as well. However, the two arch-rivals will play against each other at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday, September 10. While Rahul wasn’t available for India’s first two games of the tournament due to a niggle, Kishan used the chance and scored an 81-ball 82 while batting at No. 5 in the Group A game between the two sides as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “The question will be whether Ishan Kishan or KL Rahul will play. Ideally, if you have kept KL Rahul in the provisional squad for the World Cup, at some stage you have to play him, so you can play him now. However, can you drop Ishan Kishan? You cannot do it now. KL Rahul will have to wait for now because I am not going to touch either Shreyas Iyer or Ishan Kishan in this match, and I am not going to say anything about Hardik Pandya as well.”
However, the Indian team management will certainly be in a dilemma when choosing between Kishan and Rahul. While Ishan has staked his claim for a middle-order berth with his knock against Pakistan, Rahul needs to spend time in the middle after long injury layoffs as well.
Aakash Chopra concluded: “You might have to go with an almost identical team in this match as far as batting is concerned. I want you to keep Ishan once again at No. 5, because assuming he gets to bat around the 30th or 32nd over, then you will actually find out whether he is well-suited for that stage or not. Prima facie, when you see from a distance, it seems like if you get to straightaway bat in the 30th over, then KL Rahul is a better option between the two. If Ishan gets to bat in the 30th over and plays as well as he did when he got to bat in the powerplay in the last match, then Ishan Kishan.”