India dropped Ishan Kishan in the first ODI against Sri Lanka, this being the first ODI since he blasted a double hundred against Bangladesh in December 2022. On the eve of the match in Guwahati, India captain Rohit Sharma had said, “Ishan is very unfortunate, but it doesn’t rule out anything. We are going to try and keep everyone in the mix as we play a lot of games ahead.”
He further added, “Both have done really well. But it is fair that we give Gill a chance to have a fair run. In recent games, Gill has got a lot of runs. So has Ishan. He got a double hundred. I know what it takes to get a double ton. It is a great achievement. But just to be honest and fair to the guys who have done really well before that. It is unfortunate that we won’t be able to play Ishan, but it is fair to give Gill that run looking at how things have panned out in the last 8-9 months. He has done extremely well in that position.”
Former India bowler and coach Venkatesh Prasad had called out the decision on Twitter, “Think fair would have been to give chance to a man who scored a double hundred in India’s last ODI, and in a series where India lost two games and the series,” Prasad wrote in his thread. “Have all the time in the world for Gill, but no way you drop a player for scoring a double ton.”
Think fair would have been to give chance to a man who scored a double hundred in India’s last ODI, and in a series where India lost two games and the series.
Have all the time in the world for Gill, but no way you drop a player for scoring a double ton. https://t.co/LbzKKH8ynw
— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) January 9, 2023
He further added, “And if one is convinced to play Gill , then can have him bat at 3 and let Ishan keep wickets instead of KL Rahul. There is a reason we have underperformed in Limited overs cricket. Constant chopping changing and a guy who does brilliantly and is an X factor is dropped and mediocrity retained.”
Former India batter Mohammad Kaif also wrote, “Slightly uncomfortable with the prospect of watching an Indian team today without last ODI’s double hundred scorer, Ishan Kishan, and last T20’s centurion Suryakumar Yadav. Hope they remain motivated.”
Another former India international who spoke on the same wavelength was Akash Chopra, who said on his YouTube channel, “He (Gill) should play ahead of everyone as his numbers are very good, but how will you drop someone who has scored 200? I feel you will not touch Ishan Kishan at this point in time, although the truth is that guys who have scored 300 have also been dropped – ask Karun Nair.”
India will play Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI series, the first in the year they host the World Cup.