Veteran commentator Sanjay Manjrekar hopes to see Ishan Kishan playing ahead of KL Rahul in their World Cup 2023 opener against Australia. However, both Kishan and Rahul are part of India’s provisional 15-member squad for the mega event. While Rahul was considered to be India’s first-choice wicketkeeper-batter, his injury issues saw Ishan in the middle and he did well. And, the veteran feels the Jharkhand youngster playing ahead of the Karnataka player as well.
On the Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’, Manjrekar said: “There is a good chance he will play the first World Cup game as well because it’s impossible to keep him out after the kind of innings that he played. That has to be one of the toughest challenges that he will ever face in his one-day career. He has grabbed the opportunity with both hands and KL Rahul coming back from an injury is always going to be a little risky. The guy who is in form, been there and done that, might just get that call. It’s not about who is the better player, it’s just about being pragmatic.”
However, cricket experts have become divided when choosing between Kishan and Rahul. Some want Ishan to be there because of his form, and better wicketkeeping skills whereas others want Rahul to be brought back because of his consistent performances under pressure in the middle order over the last few years as well.
“I have always believed that you have got to have quality players who come in when their primary skill is going to be exceptional. I don’t India should be looking out for an all-rounder. If Jadeja is going to be batting at No. 7, I think that’s enough batting depth,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded. “Let’s not sacrifice the quality of bowling because then you are leaving a Shami out and getting a Shardul Thakur in. I wouldn’t go in that way but there is a chance that India might actually have somebody like a Shardul Thakur just to have a little more batting depth.”