Former Indian selector Saba Karim has had his say in the ongoing debate regarding India's opening combination in ODIs. He feels that stand-in captain KL Rahul is suited to No.4 place in the build-up to the ICC World Cup 2023.
Speaking to India News, Karim said:
“KL Rahul’s place at this time is No.4 position. This is the reason Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill opened the batting. India's selectors and team management are looking for a backup opener for the 2023 World Cup.
"Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan will serve as front line openers while Gill can fulfill the role of a backup opener.”
He further labeled Shubman Gill as a three-dimensional player who can play in all three formats.
“It is very difficult to play across three formats with the right technique, but Gill possesses all those elements. His temperament is good. He had to go through tough challenges where he scored runs.
"This is a good phase for Shubman and I think the team management has marked him as a player who can play all three formats, which is a big thing.”
After a breakthrough ODI series in West Indies, Gill continued to open the innings ahead of Rahul in the first match against Zimbabwe in Harare on Thursday (August 18). He slammed an unbeaten 82 runs off 72 balls while chasing a target of 190 runs. His innings comprised ten boundaries and a six.
The youngster shared an unbeaten partnership of 192 runs for the opening wicket with senior Indian batter Shikhar Dhawan (81*). The visitors won the match by ten wickets.
Earlier, Gill emerged as the highest run-getter in the recently concluded ODI series against West Indies. He amassed 205 runs in three matches at an average of 102.5, including an unbeaten 98 in the third ODI.
"Needs to be treated in the right manner"- Saba Karim feels Deepak Chahar is a big asset for India
Former India cricketer Saba Karim felt that seamer Deepak Chahar is a rare bowler with the ability to swing the ball for the Men in Blue. He feels that team management should take care of his workload management to get the most out of him.
“In modern-day cricket, swing bowling is not easy for batters. He [Deepak Chahar] is a valuable asset and needs to be treated in the right manner. There should be proper workload management to ensure that he serves Indian cricket for a long time.”
Karim further said:
“The most important thing is that he [Chahar] showed his rhythm in swing bowling by delivering both in-swing and out-swing deliveries. He also made changes in his length. It shows that he has made a strong development when it comes to reading the batters or wickets.
"The most important aspect is that only a few players can generate swing in the Indian cricket team. There is Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Chahar is a work in progress.”
Chahar made a perfect comeback to international cricket on Thursday following a lengthy injury layoff as he scalped three wickets against Zimbabwe.
The right-arm seamer destroyed Zimbabwe's top order like a house of cards. His opening spell saw the hosts crumble to 31/4 as early as the 11th over.
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