Rohit Sharma entertains the idea of pairing KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan in the ODI World Cup lineup, as Kishan shines in ODIs and Rahul excels in the middle order, presenting India with a welcome selection challenge.

Ishan Kishan’s impressive middle-order performance against Pakistan suggests he may have edged ahead of KL Rahul as India’s preferred No. 5 batter for the upcoming 2023 ODI World Cup. KL Rahul, who has recently recovered from a minor injury, is poised to rejoin the India squad during the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka.

With Ishan consistently excelling in ODIs, notching up four consecutive half-centuries, including three as an opener, the Indian team management faces a ‘happy headache’ in deciding who should take the wicketkeeper-batter’s spot.

As BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar remarked during a recent media interaction, ‘It is a good headache to have. Ishan played a lovely innings. He generally opens the innings. You would rather have that headache than to deal with than not.”

“Here, you can say that KL Rahul’s record in ODI cricket is fantastic. There will be a conversation but at least you will have two options to pick from on a given day. We are happy to have two options who are ready to fight for being in the XI,” he added.

Rohit Sharma even entertains the idea that both Rahul and Ishan could potentially find a place in the playing eleven when the situation demands.

“There will a possibility, why not? As long as everyone is available to play, everyone is fit to play, selection depends on the opposition, a player’s current form and those who have performed under pressure because how you get those runs is also important. Look at Ishan’s knock, for his confidence that was brilliant. Under pressure, batting at No. 5 for the first time and a left-hander which gives us another dimension. We consider all that factor in picking a playing XI,” said Rohit.

On October 8, India is scheduled to commence their ODI World Cup journey in Chennai, facing off against the five-time champions, Australia.

Last Updated on September 6, 2023

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