Before the New Zealand series, veteran India spinner R Ashwin shared his views on opening batter Ishan Kishan not getting an extended run as a player in the Indian team. He wants the team management to give him chances in the upcoming T20Is in New Zealand as well. However, Kishan has played only a couple of T20Is since July 2022. He played only one game each in England and West Indies, where he scored only eight and 11 runs, respectively.
The youngster played in all the three ODIs against South Africa, smashing 123 runs in three matches, including a match-winning knock of 93 in Ranchi as well. However, he will try to do well against New Zealand in the absence of veteran players like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli who have been rested after the T20 World Cup as well.
Speaking on his YouTube channel on Friday, R Ashwin said: “Shubman Gill will definitely open the innings. Who is going to be the second opener? Ishan Kishan or Rishabh Pant? Rishabh Pant, despite being the game changer he is, has given his impact performances at the top of the order. Ishan has been traveling a lot with the team but not getting an extended run as a player. So, he will also expect an extended run.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 18, 2022
“Shubman Gill is a lock at the top of the order” – R Ashwin
However, R Ashwin stated that wicket-keeper batter Sanju Samson might have to play as India’s new finisher in T20Is as there is no place available for him in the top order. He again shared that he could come in handy in the middle order because of his skill to tackle the spinners.
R Ashwin again said: “Will Sanju Samson finish an innings? Or will he be used in the middle order to give impetus, take on spinners, and play his pulls and use the side boundaries? Or will Sanju Samson get a chance? Because, as far as I am concerned, Shubman Gill is a lock at the top of the order.”
With Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, and Suryakumar Yadav in the squad now for the top four spots, the India team management will have to select their middle-order batters in New Zealand as well.