The 2023 World Cup is around the corner, and it seems that the Indian management has not learned from the 2019 debacle as they are again looking to mix up the team combination ahead of the prestigious tournament. There have been talks of moving the explosive opener Ishan Kishan to the middle order at the 2023 Asia Cup, and now Ravi Ashwin has given his opinion on the topic.
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KL Rahul is out of the opening two games of the Asia Cup, which leaves a huge gap in the middle, and the management does not trust Sanju Samson in the middle for unknown reasons. Samson has made his case in ODIs, as he has averaged 55.7 in the 12 ODIs he has played, but he has not been trusted and is unlikely to play. Hence, Ashwin has insisted that Kishan can do the job in the middle order despite playing the bulk of his cricket at the top.
"You guys keep saying experiment. England look the strongest and balanced team in ODIs at the moment, but even they don't experiment. They have the same top 3. They will experiment maybe after 30 overs. Don't forget, Ishan Kishan was the player of the tournament in IPL 2020 for Mumbai Indians in Dubai. But he batted at No. 4. He did not open the inning," the offspinner said on his YouTube channel.
Ishan did open that season, four times, scoring 139 runs with two fifties, but the bulk of his runs came while batting at No. 4, where he scored 314 runs in nine innings at 44.9. Kishan has 694 runs in 16 ODIs with an average of 46.3 and a strike rate of 107.4. At number four for India, he has scored 106 runs with an average of 26.5 and a strike rate of 67.1, and he has scored at a strike rate of 125 while opening the batting. As we can see, his strike rate has dropped severely, which is not what India needs in the middle of the innings.
The Indian Express reported that the management of the Indian team appears to have already made a decision regarding the debate. According to the report, Ishan will be placed in the middle of the order because Rohit is unwilling to take risks in a high-stakes match against Pakistan.