Guwahati, January 9
India were left to deal with mixed feelings on the eve of their ODI series opener against Sri Lanka as on the one hand they will have stalwarts Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli returning to the side but on the other unfit pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah will yet again miss the action.
Bumrah was expected to bolster the bowling attack in the three-match series commencing here tomorrow, but his return has been delayed further after he failed to recover from a back stress fracture, which has forced him to miss big tournaments such as the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup. However, the return of Sharma, Kohli and KL Rahul will give the hosts a huge boost as they look to complete a double over Sri Lanka.
India have a packed ODI calendar — 15 matches, excluding the Asia Cup — in the build-up to the World Cup in October-November. The key will be to not just get the balance right but also manage the workload in the midst of the IPL and the highly-anticipated Australia Test series.
But another injury scare to Bumrah has thrown a spanner in the works of the team management. There also lies the problem of plenty in picking the top-five batters.
Gill, Iyer favoured
Opener Sharma and No. 3 Kohli will retain their places, while Shubman Gill has been preferred ahead of in-form Ishan Kishan.
Sharma made it clear that Kishan, despite his fastest double hundred in his last ODI, will have to wait for his next chance.
“Both openers have done really well. But looking at how both openers have gone through, it’s fair that we give Gill a chance to have a good run,” Sharma said.
Gill’s superb consistency — 687 runs in 13 innings with a 57-plus average and a 99-plus strike-rate — has gone in his favour.
“Gill has got a lot of runs in the last few games, so has Ishan. I am not going to take anything away from him (Ishan). He’s been wonderful for us, got a double hundred. And, I know what it takes to get a double hundred, it is a great achievement,” Sharma said. “But just to be honest and fair to the guys who have done really well before, we need to give those guys enough chances as well before we make that call,” he added.
Sharma also indicated that Shreyas Iyer will make the cut in the playing XI in front of Suryakumar Yadav, who has been in sizzling form in the T20Is. “Those guys who have performed will get a run. It is as simple as that. Sometimes it’s hard when we compare guys performing in different formats. I do understand the form. Form is important and so is the format,” Sharma said. — PTI
Have not given up on T20s: Rohit
Guwahati: India’s Test and ODI captain Rohit Sharma today said he has no plans to “give up on T20 Internationals” amid strong indications that the transition has already started under Hardik Pandya. “...we’ll see what happens after the IPL. But certainly, I’ve not decided to give up the format,” he said.
#Cricket #Jasprit Bumrah #Rohit Sharma #Sri Lanka #Virat Kohli
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