Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has weighed in on the selection dilemma between Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul in India’s playing XI, highlighting the valuable versatility Ishan Kishan brings to the team. KL Rahul, originally part of India’s squad for the Asia Cup 2023, was unavailable for the first two group-stage matches in the tournament.
Ishan Kishan stepped in as his replacement against Pakistan and played a crucial innings, scoring 82 runs while batting at No. 5 in the middle order, helping India save the match. In an interview with Star Sports, Ravi Shastri noted that Ishan Kishan’s performance has created a positive selection conundrum for Indian selectors, encouraging them to maintain flexibility in their decision-making process.
Ravi Shastri acknowledged the initial question of whether Kishan, who had previously opened the batting, should continue to do so. However, Kishan’s ability to adapt, particularly in high-pressure situations against a formidable team like Pakistan, impressed Shastri.
“He is young, there was pressure on him in whether he should play or not, and then after doing that, it is a good problem to have if you are an Indian selector because he is going to push you right till the end for a spot in the XI and certainly against some opponents,” Ravi Shastri stated.
With KL Rahul expected to be available for selection in the Super Four game, the team management may face a tough choice between him and Ishan Kishan in the playing XI.
Ravi Shastri suggested that the team management should pick the wicketkeeper based on the specific opposition and match conditions, drawing a parallel with the selection of bowlers based on pitch conditions.