Ishan Kishan in action for the Indian cricket team© AFP
The Indian squad for Cricket World Cup 2023 was announced by skipper Rohit Sharma and chief selector Ajit Agarkar on Tuesday and there were only two wicket-keeping options included in the 15-member team – Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul. With no Sanju Samson in the mix, a lot of the team composition will be dependent on whom the management backs in the playing XI but each one of them provide a different advantage to the Indian cricket team. Kishan played both of India’s games in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 but with KL Rahul back in the mix, the competition is well and truly on.
Kishan had the advantage of playing the two matches in Rahul’s absence and his knock of 82 off 81 balls against Pakistan earned him praise from fans and experts alike.
A lot of questions were asked about his adaptability at No. 5 after playing as an opener against West Indies but he proved his critics wrong with a brilliant knock.
The game against Nepal saw him keeping for more than 45 overs and although he missed a catch early in the game, he made up for it with a couple of good efforts behind the stumps.
Rahul, on the other hand, has not played cricket since the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 when he sustained an injury. However, he has proved his mettle over time and his record at No. 5 makes him a lucrative choice for the selectors. With Rahul keeping stumps, the team can afford to play an extra batter in order to strengthen the batting line-up – a role that can also allow Ishan to play alongside him.
With Rishabh Pant out of action for quite some time after he was injured in a road accident, India have been in hunt for a wicket-keeper who can prove to be an explosive batting option.
With Ishan, India get a proven talent who has done well in the middle order and can even open with Rohit Sharma or Shubman Gill if needed. He also provides India with a left-hander option in the middle order – an aspect which is severely missing for them.
On the other hand, Rahul is a proven middle-order talent and although his wicket-keeping has not been out of the world, his inclusion can help Rohit and Co. in making several tweaks in the side.
The India-Pakistan Super 4 match on Sunday is a very important one for both sides but it is the choice that India make can prove to be the deciding factor for both Kishan and Rahul ahead of World Cup.
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