Saba Karim said that the Indian team management has no option but to play with Ishan Kishan as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner in the ODI series against West Indies. This decision came as some of their players, including openers Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, returned positive COVID-19 test results. Certain reports have also suggested that Kishan, who was initially not included in the ODI squad, is likely to bat at the top of the order alongside Rohit as well.
During a discussion on India News, Saba Karim responded: “You don’t have options left as well as your squad has been severely depleted because of the players who have gotten infected. Because of that, I feel we will see a new approach.”
Saba Karim reasoned: “This will be the right combination as well because if Ishan Kishan opens with Rohit Sharma, the sort of character Ishan has, his strike rate is always high, which means he can take advantage of the powerplay. It will provide more time for Rohit Sharma to get settled because he is a player who can play for a long time due to which India will also benefit. I feel this right and left-handed combination where both have different styles of playing, Kishan takes more risks on one side because of which the strike rate is very high.”
Ishan Kishan has so far played just two ODIs for Team India thus far, both against Sri Lanka. He smashed 60 runs at a strike rate of 130.43 with a top score of 59. Saba Karim was also asked whether the India opener Mayank Agarwal has only been included in the Indian squad as a backup option.
“I feel it is the right choice. Mayank Agarwal has been kept as a backup in the team at the moment. The other reason is also that Ishan Kishan’s track record in the Vijay Hazare Trophy is exceptional. He has hit hundreds many times and whenever he hits a century it is a big one. It will be a very big value add for the Indian team if Ishan Kishan opens and plays a good knock for the team. This move will help us bring the change in the Indian team’s white-ball template we have been frequently talking about,” Saba Karim concluded.