The chairman of the BCCI selection panel and former India pacer Chetan Sharma said that Ishan Kishan has been selected as the backup opener and backup wicketkeeper in the Team India squad that was recently announced for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 to be played in UAE. The tournament will begin on October 17 and will see its final being played on November 14, 2021, with the matches to be played in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Oman.
Meanwhile, the India squad for the tournament left many surprised to see Ishan Kishan being preferred over the experienced Shikhar Dhawan and talented Sanju Samson in the roles of opener and wicketkeeper respectively.
Ishan Kishan Can Open Besides Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul: Chetan Sharma
Chetan Sharma, the chief of the BCCI selection committee, during the press conference, mentioned that Jharkhand’s Ishan Kishan was chosen as a backup opener and may open the innings with either Rohit Sharma or KL Rahul, who was chosen solely as a batsman.
“Ishan Kishan can open besides Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. If the management says Virat should open, that’s up to them to decide. If Virat bats at 3, the team can bat around him. Still it’s the management’s decision later on. For now, we have selected Rohit, Rahul and Ishan as openers,” Chetan Sharma said at the press conference.
Rishabh Pant No.1 Keeper, Ishan Kishan Is His Backup: Chetan Sharma
Left-handed Ishan Kishan had made an impressive T20I debut for India against England in Ahmedabad earlier this year as he smashed his first ball for a boundary and his second ball for six, on a way to a debut half-century. He has played 3 T20Is, making 80 runs at a strike rate of 145.35.
He was recently seen keeping wickets for the Indian team in their T20I series against Sri Lanka in the island nation and did clean work behind the stump. Keeping this in mind, Chetan Sharma further clarified that Rishabh Pant was indeed the first choice keeper in the Indian T20 World Cup 2021 squad and Kishan will be his backup.
“No 1 Rishabh and No 2 is Ishan Kishan. KL Rahul may be used by the team management as the last option. We have selected Rahul as an opener,” said Chetan Sharma.
Chetan Sharma also said that Ishan Kishan can be used as a floater as well: “Ishan Kishan can be used as a floater and lends a left-handed batsman. Shreyas hasn’t kept cricket for a long time so is in the standbys but Ishan with his ability to take on leggies from the opposition.”
India will face-off against arch-rivals Pakistan in their tournament opener on October 24th at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai in a night match.