Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav best options for middle-order if KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer not fit: Saba Karim

Written by Vipin Darwade

Former wicketkeeper Saba Karim feels that Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav can be the best option for India’s middle-order if the likes of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer aren’t fit in time for the Asia Cup and World Cup this year.

Kishan had a stellar run in the recently-concluded ODI series against West Indies where he scored fifties in all three matches of the series while opening the batting for India. The 25-year-old has scored 694 runs from 17 ODI matches, which also includes a 210 against Bangladesh.

Both players have been considered as potential replacements for KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. Rahul suffered a thigh injury, leading to Ishan Kishan being slotted in as the second wicket-keeper behind KS Bharat for the ICC World Test Championship 2023 Final against Australia. Similarly, Shreyas was ruled out of IPL 2023 due to a recurring back injury, leading to discussions about Suryakumar Yadav potentially replacing him.

Former India National Cricket Team wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim has suggested that if KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are unfit for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 and ICC World Cup 2023, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav would be ideal replacements. Karim believes that Kishan’s flexibility as both an opener and middle-order batsman makes him a good replacement for Rahul, while Yadav’s experience in one-day cricket domestically and internationally makes him a strong candidate to replace Iyer.

“The selectors should take KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer into consideration — they can be included in the team if they are fit. But the wait has not ended, the team will be announced on the 20th from what I know, they have the time until then,”

“But if they are not fit, Ishan Kishan is a good option against Rahul since he can bat as an opener and in the middle-order.”

“If Shreyas Iyer is not fit, you have 2-3 options to pick from, in Tilak Varma, Sanju Samson and Suryakumar Yadav. But for me, Suryakumar has gained experience of playing one-day cricket both domestically and internationally. I will still back Suryakumar Yadav,” said Karim.

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Vipin Darwade