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HomeSports‘Rahul, Iyer, Pant can't play together': Ex-selector drops India vice-captain | Cricket

‘Rahul, Iyer, Pant can’t play together’: Ex-selector drops India vice-captain | Cricket

The last time Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul played together in an Indian ODI XI was in March 2021. Take that three match ODI series against England at home, we have to go further back to January 2020 against Australia to find these four impact-resistant stalwarts in the same XI. In total there have been only 15 ODIs with Rohit, Kohli, Dhawan and Rahul in an Indian ODI XI. This tells a clear story. It’s hard to put them all together in the XI without hampering the balance of the side.

In the upcoming three-match ODI series against Bangladesh, they may play four again, but how? Whenever Dhawan, Rohit and Rahul have played in the same XI, Rahul has never opened. To be fair, he’s also had quite a bit of success batting in the middle order. He had mastered the numbers 4 and 5 when he was given the watch duties for a short period. But now that he has made clear his intention not to put on the gloves, at least in ODIs, Rishabh Pant has to play.

If Dhawan, Rohit open for India and Kohli enters at number 3, should Rahul hit at number 4? So where does Shreyas Iyer, who has had a prolific run in this format this year, go?

To make things even more interesting, Rahul is also the designated vice-captain of the Indian side, which means that leaving him out of the XI will not come easily to Indian team management.

However, former India selector Saba Karim finds it difficult for Rahul to make the India XI for the series opening ODI on Sunday. “I see him more as an opening alternative to Dhawan and Rohit. He’s just a classy player. It’s just a matter of time when he can take shape. Having said that, I really don’t know what number he’ll be on.” “If not as an opener, do we use him in the middle order? If so, can we give him a long rope there because there are so many other contenders there. This is something that needs to be resolved as soon as possible by the captain and team management he said in a select media interaction hosted by Sony Sports Network.

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The former Indian wicketkeeper batsman made it clear that Shreyas Iyer will be his favorite number 4 for Rahul. He also highlighted India’s need to want a sixth bowling option in the top six. In the New Zealand ODIs, Sanju Samson was dropped to face Deepak Hooda for his bowling skills in the final two matches of the series.

“Playing all three (Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant) seems difficult. If Virat Kohli comes back in the mix. He will hit number 3. Say you put Shreyas Iyer at number 4, you are left with only two places India are now looking for that sixth bowling option out of their top six. If it does, that leaves very little room for another mid-range batsman to come in. I’ll be looking at Iyer because he’s done really well too in the New Zealand series. He should occupy number 4, then you have Rishabh Pant at number 5 and then you should have another bowling option at number 6,” he added.

“It will be a very crucial series for Shikhar Dhawan. I hope he will be fine without the added responsibility of captain. He and Rohit Sharma formed a great platform for the other batters to come in. You can’t forget that in ICC either tournaments, Dhawan is performing great for India. That’s one of the reasons why I think the team management is still supporting him to get well. With Rohit next to him, I hope he does well. This combination of right and left has worked well for India.”

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[Watch the LIVE coverage of Bangladesh vs India – 1st ODI on SONY SPORTS TEN 5 (English) SONY SPORTS TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY SPORTS TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels on 4th December 2022 from 12:30 PM]


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