Wasim Jaffer has opined that impressive performances from the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan will keep the “big boys” on their toes ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup next year. The duo added 161 for the third wicket on Sunday, October 9, in Ranchi as India registered a comprehensive win in the second ODI against South Africa.
The main Indian squad is currently in Australia, preparing for the T20 World Cup, which begins on October 16. However, there is also the 50-over World Cup coming up, which will be played in India next year.
A majority of the T20 players in the Men in Blue squad pick themselves in the ODI team as well. Jaffer, however, reckons that Shreyas and Kishan could pose a challenge for a couple of spots. In a discussion on ESPNcricinfo, he stated:
“They are doing their chances no harm. After the T20 World Cup, everybody is going to talk about that 2023 World Cup, which is in India. Shreyas Iyer has been magnificent. In his last six ODI innings, he has got four fifties and one hundred.
"We might see him in that big batting line-up. He might squeeze in somewhere. Ishan Kishan again... Anybody who has a good series will be challenging those big boys.”
While Shreyas was unbeaten on 113 in the second ODI, Kishan was dismissed seven short of his maiden ODI hundred. India were set to chase 279 after Mohammed Siraj’s three-fer restricted South Africa to a below-par score.
Apart from batting and bowling, Jaffer was also satisfied with India’s fielding, although he admitted that scope for improvement remains. He asserted:
“I think the catching was pretty good; that definitely has improved. The ground fielding can get better. There were still some misses. But you can take that as long as they don’t give another opportunity to the batters. They had an off day in the first ODI. Today was a much better day.”
The Men in Blue dropped three catches in the opening ODI in Lucknow, a game they ended up losing by nine runs.
“Looks unlikely” - Wasim Jaffer doesn’t see India making changes for third ODI
While all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed was handed a debut in the second ODI, Jaffer doesn’t see any more changes taking place for the decider in Delhi.
Looking ahead to the final match of the series, he commented:
“Looks unlikely (any changes for last ODI). After one game, we have seen Ruturaj Gaikwad getting dropped. I don’t see anybody else getting another opportunity in the last game with the series on the line. A bit unfortunate since Rahul Tripathi had a tremendous IPL. Rajat Patidar has been in excellent form since IPL and in first-class cricket.”
The final ODI of the three-match series will be played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Tuesday, October 11.