Ishan Kishan Likely To Play As Middle-Order Batter In KL Rahul's Absence Against Pakistan – Reports
Ishan Kishan, India's star wicketkeeper-batsman, is poised to make his Asia Cup 2023 debut against Pakistan on Saturday (September 2). In the absence of KL Rahul, who was ruled out of India's opening two matches owing to a niggle, the left-handed hitter is a sure-shot starter.
Indian head coach Rahul Dravid stated during a news conference on Tuesday (August 29) that the 31-year-old will miss the opening two matches of the Asia Cup 2023. Ishan will fill in for Rahul as wicketkeeper-batsman.
According to sources, Ishan, 25, will bat in the middle order after finishing as the leading run-scorer in India's previous ODI series against the West Indies earlier this month. The left-handed batsman is an opening batter, but with Shubman Gill and skipper Rohit Sharma at the top, there is no room for him to bat as an opener, therefore he is expected to bat in the middle order against archrivals Pakistan on Saturday.
Kishan was spotted in the nets with finishers Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja on Days 4 and 5 of the Asia Cup fitness camp in Alur, Bengaluru, according to Asia Cup official broadcaster Star Sports.
"Ishan Kishan has been thoroughly prepared by the team management." He batted with Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. He spent two days playing with them for one hour. Ishan is completely prepared for the part."
For the uninitiated, Ishan has never played at No. 5 in his ODI career. Ishan has opened the inning six times in the 17 ODIs he has played in his career, and he has batted third four times. He played six matches in the No. 4 position for Team India, scoring only 106 runs.
With Shreyas Iyer back in the lineup, Ishan will bat at No. 5 in the first two matches against Pakistan and Nepal (September 4 and 5), respectively, in Pallekele.