After a decent 2022, the Indian cricket team will kickstart 2023 with three T20Is and as many ODIs against Sri Lanka at home. The matches between the two sides will start with the shortest format at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on January 3, 2022. The ODI series will kick off on January 10. Ahead of the much-awaited series, former Indian cricketer and world cup hero Gautam Gambhir has picked his playing XI for the Sri Lanka ODIs.
Gambhir predicted the batting line-up for ODI series
Gambhir is clear Ishan Kishan and no one else should be the first choice for Indian opener alongside Rohit Sharma in ODIs for the upcoming series. Ishan recently impressed one and all as he converted his maiden ODI century into a career-best 210 in a match against Bangladesh earlier this month.
When Gambhir was asked who he would like to see as Rohit’s opening partner, he said: “I’m amazed we’re discussing this, because someone’s got a double-hundred in the previous innings,”
He added: “The discussion is over. It has to be Ishan Kishan. Someone who can get a double-hundred in those conditions against a reasonable attack – especially at [their] home – should play.”
“He got what 200 by the 35th over mark? You can’t look at anyone beyond Ishan Kishan. He has to be given a longer run. He can also keep wickets as well, so he can do two jobs for you. So for me, that discussion shouldn’t be there. If someone else had got a double-hundred, I think we would’ve gone gung-ho over that individual, but it’s not the case with Ishan Kishan. Because we still continue to talk about other players. For me, that debate is over.”
Further, he picked the lethal pair of Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav for third and fourth position, followed by Shreyas Iyer at fifth and Hardik Pandya at 6th. He explained: “It’s very difficult to look beyond Rohit and Ishan Kishan to open the batting, Virat at three, Surya at four, [and] Shreyas at five, because he’s been incredible in the last one-and-a-half years. Yes, he’s had issues against the short ball, but he’s been able to manage it. You can’t be the best against everything but if you’re able to manage it and got the numbers going for you, you can’t look beyond Shreyas at No. 5 and Hardik [Pandya] at 6,” he told ESPNcricinfo.
NO PLACE FOR KL RAHUL?
“Probably he’ll be a back-up wicketkeeper and a back-up batter,” Gambhir said. “See, if you haven’t been able to grab the opportunity and someone else has, you have to wait for your turn. I don’t think you can look beyond Surya at No. 4.”
“Yes, he hasn’t got the same numbers what he has in T20Is, but we all know how destructive he can be; especially when you have five fielders inside the ring, he can win you games at No. 4. Shreyas [with] the kind of form he’s in and Hardik at six, I think this will be my core. Shubman Gill will have to wait for his opportunity.”