File photo of Mohammad Kaif© AFP
Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif gave his take on the ongoing rivalry between KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan as the Men in Blue continue their preparations for next month’s ODI World Cup. Kishan has enjoyed fine form in the blue jersey, will now compete with KL Rahul who recently returned from injury. Apart from Hardik Pandya, India’s middle order remains a bit of a mystery. The likes of Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan offer a wide range of options and skill sets to the team.
But the scenario of these four players appearing together in the XI is highly unlikely. Addressing the ongoing competition for a place, Kaif said, “Rahul Dravid will know that both (Rahul and Iyer) are the backbone of the Indian middle order and they will need game time. Ishan played really well and it’s good because there is healthy competition in the team,” Kaif said on Star Sports.
“But if an in-form player sits out then it’s not a problem because Dravid will see Rahul bat at No.5. He has good numbers at No.5 and you want him and Iyer to get playing time. and have that form when they play the first World Cup match against Australia,” Kaif added.
Kaif went on to caution against putting extra strain on players who have recently returned from injury as it could re-aggravate their injuries.
“India have seen what happened with Jasprit Bumrah where he was cleared to play by the NCA but then got injured again. So they will have to be careful with Iyer and Rahul and check how much they have to play and when they should take breaks. You don’t want to put too much strain on them before the match starts. That’s why Rahul Dravid and the coaches are present there,” he added.
All eyes will be on India head coach Rahul Dravid’s decision to pick the Playing XI for the electrifying clash against Pakistan in the Asia Cup Super Four on Sunday.
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