India vs West Indies, 1st ODI | Ishan to open, Shahrukh Khan in squad

I have taken it from where Virat left and we want to continue the same template, says Rohit

February 05, 2022 02:18 pm | Updated 10:54 pm IST - Ahmedabad

Ishan Kishan during a training session ahead of the first ODI against West Indies, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, on Friday, Feb 04, 2022.

Ishan Kishan during a training session ahead of the first ODI against West Indies, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, on Friday, Feb 04, 2022.

Even before Ishan Kishan was officially announced as a member of India’s ODI squad for the three-match series versus the West Indies, captain Rohit Sharma announced the southpaw as his opening partner for Sunday’s series-opener at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

Only option

“Ishan is the only option we have and he will open. Mayank (Agarwal) was added to the squad but he has still not finished his quarantine since he joined slightly late, so Ishan will open tomorrow, unless there is an injury. Fingers crossed nothing like that happens,” Rohit said on Satuday.

With Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad having been ruled out of the first two games after being down with COVID-19 infection and K.L. Rahul unavailable for the first match, the BCCI ealier in the week had announced that Mayank Agarwal had been asked to join as back-up for the ODI squad.

On Saturday evening, the BCCI announced Ishan and Shahrukh Khan’s inclusion in the squad with Dhawan, Gaikwad and Shreyas Iyer in Covid-enforced isolation. Ishan will look to cement his place in the side and serve a reminder to IPL franchises ahead of the player auction.

Rohit insisted that despite taking over the ODI captaincy, the vision and the approach of the team will more or less remain the same with an eye on the 2023 World Cup.

“When Virat was the captain, I was the vice-captain.We pretty much went about the team in a similar fashion. I just have taken it from where he left. The team pretty much knows what is expected of them. We want to continue the same template,” Rohit said.

Not much to change

“There is not much we want to change, we have a good team, we have good players. Just that in certain occasions, there will be situations presented in front of us where we have to change our game a little bit. It is just that adaptability and being open to different things at different points we have spoken of. There is nothing that I need to change something drastically.”

With Kohli having resigned as Test captain after India lost the series in South Africa, Rohit was expectedly asked about whether he was ready to take over the mantle in the longest format as well. The seasoned pro left it outside the off-stump.

“Let’s leave the Test captaincy discussion for another day. For the time being, I am completely focused on the ODI and the T20I series versus West Indies,” Rohit said.

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