India captain Rohit Sharma confirmed the name of his opening partner for the first ODI against Sri Lanka as he picked Shubman Gill over Ishan Kishan, the man who had scored a double ton in his last 50-over match. The decision has stirred plenty of debate on social media, and former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad is one of those in the cricketing spectrum who couldn’t get his head around the preference. Prasad, in a chain of tweets, criticised the decision and highlighted how such constant chopping and changing has affected India’s performance in limited overs cricket.
Rohit confirmed that it would be Gill who will open alongside him in the Guwahati ODI in the press conference on the eve of the series opener. Prasad, however, was quick to express his displeasure.
“Think fair would have been to give chance to a man who scored a double hundred in India’s last ODI, and in a series where India lost two games and the series. Have all the time in the world for Gill, but no way you drop a player for scoring a double ton. And if one is convinced to play Gill , then can have him bat at 3 and let Ishan keep wickets instead of KL Rahul,” Prasad wrote.
“There is a reason we have underperformed in Limited overs cricket. Constant chopping changing and a guy who does brilliantly and is an X factor is dropped and mediocrity retained.
“In Eng, Pant scored a hundred in the final ODI and helped India win the series. However, based on T20 form was dropped from ODI team. KL Rahul on the other hand barring a couple of innings has failed consistently but retains his place.Performance is not the foremost parameter. Sad,” he added in multiple tweets.
Explaining the decision behind the selection of Gill over Ishan, Rohit asserted the need to give the former a ‘fair run’.
“Both openers (Gill and Kishan) have done really well. But looking at how both have gone through, I think it is fair that we give Gill a chance to have a fair run because in the last games Gill got a lot of runs as well,” Rohit said in a press conference on the eve of the first ODI.
“I am not going to take anything from Ishan. He has been wonderful for us. He got a double hundred and I know what it takes to get a double hundred, it is a great achievement. But just to be honest and be fair to the guys who have done really well before that we need to give those guys enough chances as well,” Rohit had said.
“It is unfortunate that we won’t be able to play Ishan but looking at how things have panned out for us in the last 8-9 months, looking at how the ODIs have gone through for us, it is fair to give Gill that run and he has done extremely well in that position. We will definitely try out and keep Ishan in the mix and see how things pan out for us as we play lot of games ahead,” the India captain had added.
WIth Ishan on the bench, Gill would need to step up his game and deliver as even a single failure could see him being replaced by the southpaw.
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