Given his recent batting achievements, former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes the think tank should select Ishan Kishan above KL Rahul in the playing XI for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
Notably, the All-India Senior Men's Selection Committee maintained a core team from the Asia Cup roster that will compete in the high-profile event, which will be held in India beginning October 5.
The think tank will have a difficult time deciding between Rahul and Ishan for their middle order. In the same vein, Gambhir expressed his opinion in this regard, claiming that Ishan's recent batting achievements put him ahead of Rahul in the XI.
"Tell me something, what is more important to win a championship - name or form? If Rohit (Sharma) or Virat (Kohli) had scored something similar (four consecutive fifties), would you still say that KL Rahul would replace them?"
Gambhir said on Star Sports.
"The point is, when you're gearing up to win the World Cup, you don't see the name, you judge by their form. You choose the player who can perform and win you the World Cup. I feel Ishan Kishan has done everything he needs to do to be a frontrunner,"
It is worth noting that Ishan has been in excellent form, scoring 82, 77, 55, and 52 in his last four ODIs. Meanwhile, Rahul returns to the ODI squad after a two-year absence due to a knee injury incurred in the IPL 2023.
Notably, Rahul is expected to make the squad for the upcoming encounter against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four stage on Sunday, September 10.
Gambhir went on to say that if the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were in place of Ishan, there would be no room for Rahul in the lineup.
"Just because he is Ishan Kishan and hasn't played a lot of international cricket, you're saying that KL Rahul should play before him. But if Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma were in place of Ishan Kishan, would KL Rahul be able to replace them? The answer is 'no',"
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