If required, selectors need to have hard conversations with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul: Ex-India cricketer
When asked whether Rohit, Rahul and Kohli are still indispensable in India's T20I side especially after seeing what Kishan can do at the top of the order, former India wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim said they do walk into the XI but the selectors should not shy away from having a tough conversation.
Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad opened for India in all five T20Is against South Africa and they are likely to do the same even against Ireland but despite good success - Ishan scored two fifties and Ruturaj one - both of them won't find a place in the XI when regular captain Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul return to the side. Ruturaj might not even make it to the squad as it will see the return of Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav. Once a feared top three, renowned to win T20 matches at will, Rohit, Rahul and Kohli have rarely played together since last year's T20 World Cup. While Rahul had a good IPL with Lucknow Super Giants, two pillars of India's limited-overs batting unit - Rohit and Kohli had one of their worst seasons.
Moreover, their strike rates have been under scrutiny for quite some time now. When asked whether these three are still indispensable in India's T20I side especially after seeing what Kishan can do at the top of the order, former India wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim, who had also served as a member of the selection committee, said they do walk into the XI but the selectors should not shy away from having a tough conversation if they are unable to mould their batting according to the demands of the modern game.
"A tough call for the selectors. At this stage, I'm sure all three of them (Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul) will walk into the XI," Saba Karim said in reply to a Hindustan Times query in a select media interaction organised by Sony Sports Network ahead of the Ireland T20Is.
Karim said Rohit, Kohli and Rahul have enough experience to change their approach and bat at a better pace in the shortest format of the game.
"If such criticism is being levelled at them, it is up to them to find a solution so that they emerge in a much better manner. And if it's not happening then the team management or selectors need to have hard conversations with the individuals involved because there is stiff competition coming through. The players whom you have named enough experience to make the required changes in their batting so that it is beneficial for the national side. I'm sure they understand the needs of modern T20 batting," he added.
Rohit, Kohli are currently in England gearing up for the Birmingham Test while Rahul is nursing a groin injury that has ruled him out of the series.
Hardik Pandya is set to lead India in the two-match T20I series in Ireland starting on June 26.
Watch the LIVE coverage of Ireland vs India - 1st & 2nd T20i on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels on 26th & 28th June 2022 from 9:00 pm IST.