‘Hell yeah he should open for India at World Cup’: Lee names Rahul’s replacement | Cricket

The 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup is still some time away but the sooner teams get their plans sorted, the better it is. More so for the Indian team who will be hosting the event this time around. When it comes to the last three 50-overs World Cups, the host team has won it on each occasion – India in 2011, Australia in 2015 and England in 2019 so rest assured, next year pressure will be on Team India to continue the trend and finally end their wait for an ICC title.

Things haven’t quite worked out for the Men in Blue in the last year or so. Injury concerns and top players struggling for form have been two major worries for Rohit Sharma and Co. Established players are under pressure to justify their selection into the team, especially with promising youngsters knocking on the door with a string of impressive performances behind them. When it comes to big names, KL Rahul is one such batter whose place in the Indian team seems has come under scrutiny. The India opener has been under the pump for his lack of runs and the clamors have intensified more after the likes of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan have belted plenty.

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With Rohit Sharma certain to start in the XI, there is question mark over his opening partner. The top two options are obviously Rahul and Dhawan, but given the fact that Ishan has recently scored a magnificent double century makes it impossible for the selectors to ignore him. Sure enough, a lot can change between now and then but given Ishan keeps getting chances and continues scoring runs, Rahul and Dhawan will not be breathing easy. In fact, former Australia pacer Brett Lee reckons Ishan should be India’s first choice opener when the World Cup comes around in 10 months’ time.

“With this deadly double, Ishan has staked a strong claim to open for India in the ODI World Cup at home in 2023. Will this happen? I don’t know. Should it happen? Hell yeah it should. The guy just scored the fastest 200 in ODI history. But if he can show consistency, stay fit, and be around the next few months, he should be a sure-shot opener for India at the World Cup,” Lee said on his official YouTube channel.

“Back Ishan to make it in the World Cup squad with an eye on the future and clearly, he would be on a high after that knock as he should be. However, a word of caution. Too much praise had led to cobwebs in the head. So my advice to Ishan Kishan would be… forget about the milestone, forget about the double hundred as soon as you can. There are bigger milestones to achieve, higher peaks to scale. Ishan Kishan has to forget about the euphoria of his double hundred. Just focus on the process stay fit and keep smashing big runs.”

Ishan blasted a historic double ton, getting there off just 126 balls and thus overtaking Chris Gayle in the process to register the fastest ODI double century of all time. Ishan joined an illustrious list featuring Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rohit as only the fourth batter ever to notch up an ODI double and Lee couldn’t be more in awe of what the 23-year-old accomplished against Bangladesh in Chattogram a couple of weeks ago.

“I am a little late in reacting to this but as they say… better late than never. What we saw just a few days ago from Ishan Kishan was truly amazing. Bangladesh had no answer. The fastest double-hundred in ODI history 210 runs off just 132 balls… 24 fours and 10 massive sixes.A ferocious knock with shots all around the dial.Unbelievable batting, he could have easily got a triple hundred as well.It helped that he had the master Virat Kohli at the other end. what I loved about the innings was not just Ishan Kishan’s shot-making but Kohli’s reaction when Ishan ran the 200th run. What a great spirit and camaraderie between the two,” mentioned Lee.


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