As India took on Pakistan in their opening Asia Cup 2023 clash, it was Ishan Kishan who made the opportunity count, producing an excellent performance with the bat, all but silencing those doubting him to play a role in India’s middle-order. Though an opener, Kishan featured at the No. 5 spot for India in the absence of KL Rahul. Though there remain those who feel Ishan has cemented his spot in the middle-order with the performance against Pakistan, Mohammad Kaif differs in opinion, much to the disappointment of Gautam Gambhir.
In a chat on Star Sports after India’s batting innings against Pakistan on Saturday, Kaif opined that Rahul would return in the middle-order once he is fully fit while Ishan would have to drop to the bench despite his heroics against Pakistan.
“KL Rahul is a proven match-winner. At No. 5, his numbers are fabulous. So Rahul Dravid knows, there is that clarity in his mind that…remember, Mohammed Shami was dropped today. So, when KL Rahul is fit again, he will be playing in the XI and Ishan Kishan will have to wait for his next opportunity. Ishan is doing all that he needs. He scored in that series against West Indies…his graph is only going up and is getting better by the day. He has a double century to his name as well. He has class and talent but he cannot replace Rahul yet because the latter is nit playing because of bad form, but due to an injury,” he said.
Gambhir, unhappy with Kaif’s verdict, fired a sharp question at his former teammate, asking “To win the World Cup, name is more important or form?”
The cricketer-turned-politician then continued his point, suggesting had someone like Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma made those 4 consecutive fifites, no one would be saying that Rahul will get a spot in the squad over them.
“Had Kohli or Rohit made those four consecutive fifties, would you have said the same thing about KL Rahul? When you are preparing to win a World Cup, you don’t look at a name, you look at the form of a player that could win you the trophy,” Gambhir asserted.
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