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Kohli to sacrifice No.3 spot, new position for Gill: Options for India if Iyer, Rahul not fit for Asia Cup, World Cup

Kohli to sacrifice No.3 spot, new position for Gill: Options for India if Iyer, Rahul not fit for Asia Cup, World Cup

Will KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer be healthy enough for the 2023 Asia Cup? If they aren't, will they still be considered for the World Cup right away? Reports from the day before said that Rahul and Iyer might not be able to play in the Asia Cup because their physiques are not fully healed enough to handle the stress of 50-over cricket. The next day, videos of Rahul executing keeping skills went viral.

This doesn't mean Rahul is ready to keep wicket for 50 overs, but it gives fans hope that the right-hander will be able to play for India again after a long injury break.

Rahul hasn't played in a game since he hurt his thigh against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2023. He even had to get surgery in London, and it's only been a few weeks since he started hitting in the nets. The hardest thing for him will be to get his thighs strong enough to handle the stress of keeping for 50 overs and then batting or vice versa.

Rahul is very important to India's plans for the Asia Cup and the World Cup. Even though he hasn't done well in T20Is or Tests, he is still India's first choice wicketkeeper-batsman in ODIs. His numbers at the No. 5 spot are among the best in recent years. If he isn't fully fit, India will have to find not only a keeper but also someone who can bat well in the middle order.

The story of Shreyas Iyer is a little bit more scary. The right-hander is getting better from a back issue that kept coming back and kept him out of the IPL 2023. Almost certainly, he won't be at the Asia Cup if what people say is true.

If that is true, he will only have the three home games against Australia to show that he is ready for the World Cup.

Iyer has been India's No. 4 batter in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for a long time. He has made that spot his own by always doing well there, no matter what. When he isn't there, India's problem of not having a strong No. 4 will come up again.

Who are India's backups if Iyer and Rahul are not fit?

those in charge of managing the Indian team are hope for the best and getting ready for the worst. If the three ODIs against the West Indies were any indication, Rohit Sharma, the captain, and Rahul Dravid, the coach, have already started looking for replacements.

Who will replace Rahul and Iyer if they don't get well in time? Suryakumar Yadav and Sanju Samson seem to be the clear leaders in terms of players. But they might not be the exact same changes in the starting XI.

When SKY bats in the top five in ODIs, they don't make much money. He hasn't had the success he wanted in this format at any number, but the No. 6 spot, where he played in the last two ODIs in the West Indies, seems to be best for him. If that's the case, he can't substitute either Iyer or Rahul, who is batting.

Samson has never gotten a good run in any game, but his ODI stats are good. And they've always come when they were hitting No.4 or lower. He could be the replacement for Rahul, but he hasn't been keeping up lately, and Ishan Kishan seems to be the first choice when Rahul isn't around.

If Rahul and Iyer are not fit, Kohli may have to give up his No. 3 spot.

If Rahul and Iyer are not healthy enough to play in the Asia Cup, India might have to change their batting order totally. Kishan has to start if he plays. He has a lot of people on his side. If Kishan and Rohit bat first, where does Shubman Gill bat? It's not easy.

Gill has played at No. 3 or lower in domestic cricket and at the beginning of his career. If he gets to bat at No. 3, Virat Kohli will have to leave that spot. That might be the hardest choice to make in recent years, since Virat Kohli is the best ODI player at No. 3 in the world right now. He has scored 10777 of his 12898 runs in ODIs while playing third. He has hit hundreds in 39 of the 46 ODIs he has played.

But since he is a team player, he would know that he needs a strong No. 4 if Iyer isn't there. It might not be the best idea to ask Gill to bat at that spot in important events like the Asia Cup and World Cup. In that case, Kohli might drop to No. 4, Hardik Pandya would be No. 5, and either Samson or SKY would be No. 6. If Rahul is healthy, which is more likely, Hardik can bat at number six.

What are the other options for India?

If India doesn't want to change where Virat Kohli bats, they will have to move Hardik up to the No.4 spot. He has played in the top four in the IPL and for India in the past few years. Rohit then bats first with Gill, as expected, and either Samson or SKY bats sixth. This will only be possible, though, if Rahul is healthy. If he isn't, Kishan becomes the first-choice keeper, and he has to start unless India wants to give the gloves to Samson.