Gautam Gambhir backs Ishan Kishan as India opener in ODI cricket


Former India player Gautam Gambhir has expressed that there is no better option than Ishan Kishan to partner Rohit Sharma as openers for the national team in One-Day International (ODI) cricket, with the cricketing powerhouse now channelling their energies on 50-overs cricket with the 2023 World Cup slated to be hosted later in the year. 

Ishan Kishan had made the most of the opportunity that he got for India in the third and final ODI against Bangladesh at Chattogram earlier this month, slamming 210 to become only the fourth Indian after Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma to make ODI double hundreds.

Gautam Gambhir was quoted by ESPNCricinfo saying,

“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.

“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,”

Gautam Gambhir added. 

Gautam Gambhir backed young batsmen in Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer to continue shining in ODI cricket for India, but also suggested that maestro Virat Kohli should bat at No 4. 

“It’s very difficult to look beyond Rohit and Ishan Kishan to open the batting, Virat at three, Surya at four, [and] Shreyas at five, because he’s been incredible in the last one-and-a-half years,”

he said. 

The hero of India’s World Cup wins in 2007 and 2011, Gautam Gambhir expressed that KL Rahul should be a backup wicketkeeper and batsman, not a first-choice. Gautam Gambhir said,

“Probably he’ll be a back-up wicketkeeper and a back-up batter,. See, if you haven’t been able to grab the opportunity and someone else has, you have to wait for your turn. I don’t think you can look beyond Surya at No. 4.”