"It has to be him"- Gautam Gambhir names an ideal opener with Rohit Sharma in Dhawan's absence; leaves out Rahul, Samson or Gill
India will lock horns with Sri Lanka in three T20Is and three ODIs. The BCCI rested all seniors from the T20I squad, including Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul, who are back in the ODIs. However, one notable omission was that of veteran Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan.
The Indian board sidelined the left-hander for the Sri Lankan ODIs after a horrible series against Bangladesh. In his absence, India might look to give more chances to youngsters like Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill. However, after a brilliant double century, Ishan might get an edge over fill.
Former Indian opener and 2007 and 2011 World Cup-winning team member, Gautam Gambhir feels that Ishan should be the first choice opener for India when Dhawan is not part of the squad. Ishan smashed the fastest ODI double century off 128 balls against Bangladsh.
He scored 210 runs on just 131 balls. Meanwhile In an interaction with ESPN Cricinfo, Gambhir said that the double century from the 24-year-old will push him in the race for the opening slot for India, and he will open with skipper Rohit Sharma in the series.
Gambhir said, "I'm amazed we're discussing this, because someone's got a double-hundred in the previous innings. The discussion is over. It has to be Ishan Kishan. He got what 200 by the 35th over mark? You can't look at anyone beyond Ishan Kishan. He has to be given a longer run."
The former opener also highlighted that the 24-year-old also gives the team the option of a wicketkeeper, which ends the discussion. Furthermore, he said that despite scoring a double century, he is still in the race for a place in the team, but he should be judged clearly on what he did in the last game.
The 24-year-old is part of both the T20I and ODI squads. The T20I series will kick off on January 3 under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, which will be followed by the ODI series on January 10.