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Gautam Gambhir backs Ishan Kishan as frontrunner to open alongside Rohit Sharma in ODIs




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Gautam Gambhir has squashed the discussion surrounding India’s opening pair by backing Ishan Kishan to open alongside Rohit Sharma in the forthcoming ODI series.

Shikhar Dhawan is not a part of India’s squad for the upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka and Gambhir believes that Ishan should be India’s first-choice opener alongside captain Rohit and has mentioned that there should be no further discussion on the same as far as he is concerned.

Ishan, the 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batter, smashed 210 runs off just 131 balls in India’s last ODI against Bangladesh. He was not considered for the first two games against Bangladesh with the Indian management sticking to the Rohit and Dhawan pair, while KL Rahul played in the middle order.

Apart from Ishan, Shubman Gill has also proven his worth in ODIs with 638 runs in 12 innings at an average of 70.88 in 2022.

For me, that debate is over: Gautam Gambhir

But the former India opener feels that Ishan’s recent double century dismisses all the competition for the remaining opening spot. He also added that Ishan should be given a longer run and the discussion about other options shouldn’t be there. 

“I’m amazed we’re discussing this, because someone’s got a double-hundred in the previous innings. The discussion is over. It has to be Ishan Kishan. Someone who can get a double-hundred in those conditions against a reasonable attack – especially at [their] home – should play,” Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo.

“He got what 200 by the 35th over mark? You can’t look at anyone beyond Ishan Kishan. He has to be given a longer run. He can also keep wickets as well, so he can do two jobs for you. So for me, that discussion shouldn’t be there.

If someone else had got a double hundred, I think we would’ve gone gung-ho over that individual, but it’s not the case with Ishan Kishan. Because we still continue to talk about other players. For me, that debate is over,” Gambhir added.

Ishan is a part of India’s T20I and ODI squads for the upcoming Sri Lanka series on home soil while Rohit and Rahul are available only for the ODI series starting January 10.