In a startling declaration, former Indian cricket stalwart Gautam Gambhir is urging the Indian team management to throw their weight behind Ishan Kishan instead of KL Rahul in the impending high-intensity Asia Cup Super 4s clash.
Kishan, a prolific southpaw, has surged into the spotlight with four consecutive half-centuries in the One Day International format, demonstrating a remarkable run of form that Gambhir finds irresistibly compelling. He fervently contends that Kishan is the epitome of what the team requires right now.
Contrastingly, Rahul is poised for a comeback after an extended absence due to injury. As the premier choice wicket-keeper-batsman in the national squad, sidelining him prior to the ODI World Cup might not appear to be a prudent move. Nevertheless, Gambhir is unflinchingly convinced that Kishan is the ideal candidate for the team's current needs, cautioning that omitting him would be an “enormous blunder.”
Playing KL Rahul ahead of Ishan Kishan will be a huge blunder: Gautam Gambhir
In a candid conversation with Star Sports, Gambhir bluntly stated, “India will make a huge blunder if they don't play Ishan Kishan ahead of KL Rahul. The point is, when you're gearing up to win the World Cup, you don't see the name, you judge by their form. You choose the player who can perform and win you the World Cup. I feel Ishan Kishan has done everything he needs to do to be a frontrunner.”
Gambhir firmly contends that the selection process should not be swayed by players' reputation or experience. He passionately advocates for a form-centric approach, emphasizing that Kishan delivers exceptional performances, particularly under intense pressure.
He draws a parallel by asserting that the team wouldn't bench Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli in favor of Rahul, and the same principle should apply to a young talent like Kishan.
“Simply because Ishan Kishan hasn't amassed substantial international experience, it's untenable to claim that KL Rahul should supersede him. If Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma occupied Kishan's spot, could KL Rahul adequately replace them? The unequivocal answer is ‘no',” Gambhir emphatically asserted.
India will take on Pakistan next in their Super 4 clash on Sunday. This will be the second time the two teams will be meeting in this tournament after their first encounter got washed out by rain.
Kishan had played a fighting knock of 82 in that match after India's top-order got destroyed by the Pakistani pacers, and he will be eager to deliver another good performance, provided he gets an opportunity.