Former India National Cricket Team opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has said that the 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan will have to improve his game against spin-bowling if the team wants him to bat at the No.5 position in ODI cricket.
Ishan Pranav Kumar Pandey Kishan hit a terrific 82 against Pakistan while batting at the No.5 position in Asia Cup 2023 to give out a message that he is capable of batting in the middle-order for India.
He has been named in India’s provisional ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 squad and is likely to participate in the upcoming ODI series against Australia. Also, the wicketkeeper-batter himself has informed that team management has clearly told him that his role will be to bat in the middle-order in ODIs.
Speaking on Star Sports after the continental tournament, Gambhir said that Kishan looks like a completely different batter when he opens the innings and he needs to make a lot of improvements if he wants to become a proper middle-order batter.
“If you are thinking about him at No. 5, he will have to improve his game. When he opened in the final, a totally different Ishan Kishan was seen. When you go in the middle order and an off-spinner is bowling, I agree you can play freely if you are 200/3.
“However, if you are 50/3, can you rotate the strike? You still have time to improve that before the World Cup because the reverse lap we saw against Bangladesh showed clearly that you are not that comfortable against spin, especially off-spin,” Gambhir said.
You will get to play spin in the World Cup if you play at No. 5 – Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir further said that a batter who plays at the No.5 position will mostly face spin-bowling during the World Cup and Kishan has his weakness when facing spinners. According to the former India opener, the No.5 position in the Indian ODI team is the only debatable spot right now.
“You will get to play spin in the World Cup if you play at No. 5. So that is the only debatable number for me, that whether you will see Ishan Kishan playing at No. 5 if Shreyas Iyer is fit. However, if Shreyas Iyer is not fit, you will have to back Ishan Kishan only unless you back Ravindra Jadeja (to bat up the order) and play Suryakumar Yadav at No. 7,” Gautam Gambhir said.
“I don’t think that is going to happen. So if Ishan bats better at No. 5 against spin, you would have more or less covered your entire batting order and playing XI.”
With the Asia Cup done and dusted, India’s next assignment is a three-match ODI series against Australia, which will be played on September 22, 24 and 27. After the series, India will participate in the marquee ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 at home.
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