Uthappa wants India to stick with Ishan Kishan for entire Asia Cup 2023 and play KL Rahul vs Australia

In the absence of KL Rahuk, Ishan Kishan has performed exceptionally well as a wicketkeeper-batter.

Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul | GettyThe BCCI men's selection committee on Tuesday (September 5) announced India’s 15-member squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, which gets underway in India next month.

There were concerns raised over KL Rahul’s match fitness but the Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel included him in the World Cup squad.

Earlier this year, Rahul sustained a thigh injury during an IPL match. Subsequently, he underwent surgery in London and extended rehabilitation at the NCA in Bangalore.

While the wicketkeeper-batter completely recovered from his thigh surgery, he picked up a fresh niggle which ruled him out of India’s first two Asia Cup fixtures.

Rahul’s selection, however, has sparked a debate among fans and experts that who should don the gloves as Ishan Kishan has performed exceptionally well in recent times.

Kishan opened the batting and slammed three successive half-centuries in the ODI series against West Indies in July-August, while he produced a stunning knock of 81-ball 82 at No. 5 in India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan in Pallekele on September 2.

Amid the debate, former India cricketer Robin Uthappa has opined that Ishan Kishan should play all games of the Asia Cup as it will give him confidence ahead of the World Cup.

Uthappa wants India to assess Rahul’s match fitness during the home ODI series against Australia later this month.

"Ishan Kishan needs to have confidence going into the ODI World Cup, so I will play him throughout this tournament. I will urge the team management to play KL Rahul in all three matches against Australia instead," Uthappa said while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.

"It will be difficult to play both Kishan and KL in the Indian line-up at the Asia Cup because Shreyas Iyer has also just returned from injury. He is a very good player and he needs to be in the mix for India's sake. Shreyas Iyer needs to be given more chances," he added.

Besides Rahul and Kishan, India have Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav in their ranks for the middle order positions. Iyer played against Pakistan in the group stage of the Asia Cup, but failed to score big.

India next Asia Cup match is against Pakistan in Colombo on September 10 and it will be interesting to see their team composition for the marquee clash.


By Salman Anjum - 10 Sep, 2023

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