File image of Mohammad Kaif© AFP
Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif gave his take on the ongoing competition between KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan as the Men in Blue continue with their preparations for next month’s ODI World Cup. Kishan has enjoyed fine form in the blue jersey, will now have to compete with KL Rahul who recently returned from injury. Other than Hardik Pandya, India’s middle order is still a bit of a mystery. The likes of Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan offer a wide variety of options and skill sets to the team.
But the scenario of these four players featuring together in the playing XI is highly unlikely. Kaif addressed the competition that is going on for a spot and said, “Rahul Dravid will know that both (Rahul and Iyer) are the backbone of the Indian middle order and that they will need game time. Ishan played really well, and that’s good because there’s healthy competition in the team,” Kaif said on Star Sports.
“However, if an in-form player sits out, then it’s not a problem because Dravid will want to see Rahul bat at No.5. He has good numbers at No. 5, and you will want him and Iyer to get game time and have that form when they play the first World Cup game against Australia,” Kaif added.
Kaif further went on to warn about putting an extra load on players who have recently returned from injuries as it could aggravate their injuries once again.
“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 need to be careful with Iyer and Rahul and check on how much they need to play and when they need to take breaks. You don’t want to give them too much load before the match begins. That’s why Rahul Dravid and the trainers are present there,” he added.
All eyes will be on India head coach Rahul Dravid’s decision to choose the Playing XI for the electrifying clash against Pakistan in Asia Cup Super Four on Sunday.
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