The 2023 Men’s Asia Cup kicked off with an exciting clash between Pakistan and Nepal in Multan on Wednesday (August 30). As cricket fans around the world gear up for a thrilling tournament, all eyes are on the Indian cricket team, who will face their arch-rivals Pakistan on September 2 in Pallekele.

But, India’s campaign comes with a twist as they will miss the services of wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul due to an injury. In Rahul’s absence, the promising Ishan Kishan is slated to take his place in the playing XI. The question now arises: in what batting position will Kishan find himself, given that Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli occupy the top three spots in the batting order?

Answering the query, former India selector Kris Srikkanth has weighed in with his opinion, suggesting that India should make a bold decision by sending Ishan to open the innings alongside skipper Rohit. “If Ishan Kishan has to be in the XI, he has to open the batting,” Srikkanth emphasized on his YouTube channel.

Also READ: Asia Cup makes a glorious return to Pakistan after a 15-year hiatus; marked by a spectacular opening ceremony in Multan

Srikkanth urges Indian team management to take a bold call

“Playing against Pakistan, who have some terrific fast bowlers, requires taking chances. Give Ishan the license to take the attack to the Pakistan bowlers,” Srikkanth advised, advocating for a more aggressive approach in the opening combination.

Srikkanth further elaborated on his idea, emphasizing the importance of the left-right batting combination: “That’s why I am saying, take a bold call and send Ishan Kishan to open the batting. Ask him to attack.”

Meanwhile, the Indian team management has been closely monitoring Rahul’s progress, recognizing his crucial role as both a wicketkeeper and a middle-order batter. Despite recovering from an injury prior to the Asia Cup squad selection, Rahul’s fitness journey has been marked by dedication and hard work. However, a minor injury concern emerged prior to the squad announcement, leading coach Rahul Dravid to make the decision to rest KL for the first two matches.

Although KL will be the top choice for the upcoming World Cup in India in October-November, Dravid is prioritizing his player’s well-being. The Indian team head coach is keen to avoid any risks, particularly after KL’s hamstring injury in March 2023.

Also READ: India head coach Rahul Dravid confirms KL Rahul’s unavailability for the first two games of Asia Cup 2023

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