Asia Cup 2023: Team India faces uncertainty on number 5 batting slot

The 2023 Asia Cup swirled into uncertainty thanks to the rains that lashed Colombo. The India-Pakistan match washed out in Pallekele after only one innings was completed, was only the beginning. Colombo, which is set to host the remainder of the Sri Lankan leg of the tournament, beginning from September 5, has been hit by heavy rain, has experienced flooding on the roads in several suburbs.

While nothing has been finalised yet, it is understood that officials of Sri Lanka Cricket are in discussions with the meteorological department to learn more about the specific forecast for the coming days. The request to change venues came from the broadcaster, and the shortlisted alternate venues include Dambulla, Hambantota and an extended stint in Pallekele. It’s worth noting that SLC raised the likelihood of rain interrupting cricket, at this time of the year, in Pallekele, suggesting matches be played in Dambulla, a rain-shadow region, instead. However, several stakeholders did not go along with this.

But, the uncertainty in this tournament is not limited to the off field action. For India, the latest potential tricky decision is the No. 5 batting slot. KL Rahul, who was cleared to join the team in Sri Lanka — it’s not yet clear which city he will end up in — was the primary wicketkeeping batsman for that position.

But, Ishan Kishan put up his hand in such emphatic fashion in the game against Pakistan, that it is impossible to ignore his claims in entirety. Batting at No. 5 in a One-Day International for the first time and also playing against Pakistan for the first time in this format, Kishan walked out to bat after the top order had been shredded.

Shaheen Shah Afridi led the carnage, cleaning up Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma with inswingers after setting them up beautifully. Kishan, known for his attacking style in Twenty20 cricket, has often played too fast and too loose. While he has all the shots in the book, he sometimes also tries to play them all in one innings.

On the day, Kishan was anything but. A picture of composure and confidence Kishan showed that there is a maturity to his batting that the world had not yet seen. Playing with a straight bat early on, only once reverting to form when he whipped a ball over the leg side backward of square with abandon, Kishan bedded down.Kishan was certainly helped by Hardik Pandya who has a cool head and is never short on confidence. But it was Kishan who kept the momentum going while protecting the partnership. When the spinners dropped short, Kishan was quick to pounce, getting on the back foot and pulling in the arc between long and midwicket. When he got a couple of full tosses from Shadab Khan, the leg spinner, soon after the quick bowlers ended their 13-over attack, Kishan precisely put the deliveries away back past the bowler with power.With 82 off 81 balls, when he was finally dismissed, Kishan had taken India out of the woods. That the tail did not wag enough to push on to something approaching 300, was a disappointment, but the middle order had more than done its bit.

For long now, India have not known who might make the most of the No. 5 position, thanks mainly to injuries. Rahul, whom the team have tremendous faith in, has a larger body of work than Kishan, and has also been in leadership positions. However, he picked up a niggle just as he was recovering from a serious thigh injury.

To say he comes into the Asia Cup undercooked would not be unfair. While Rahul has played some cricket in Bangalore to prove his fitness, these matches were not competitive when it comes to international standards. Some people take the view that the Asia Cup is merely preparation for the World Cup to the Indian team, the players cannot take this view. After Kishan’s demonstration of his readiness for the No. 5 slot Rahul should not assume that he will walk back into the playing eleven. That said, the Indian team has made some inexplicable and unexpected selection calls in the recent past, and anything can happen.



Denial of responsibility! My Droll is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
DMCA compliant image

Leave a Comment