'He knows Shikhar has been dropped...': Kaif throws weight behind Rohit for picking Gill over Kishan in 1st ODI vs SL
Mohammad Kaif has come out in the support of skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid after Shubman Gill played a stellar knock in the 1st ODI against Sri Lanka. Gill was preferred over in-form Ishan Kishan in the 1st ODI.
A day after questioning the ouster of Ishan Kishan from the Indian playing XI for the 1st One Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka, former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has come out in the support of skipper Rohit Sharma following India's win in the series opener on Tuesday. Despite scoring a sensational double century in Bangladesh, opener Kishan was overlooked by the Indian think for the 1st ODI of the three-match series against Sri Lanka at Guwahati.
Replacing Kishan as Rohit's opening partner, premier batter Shubman Gill played a crucial knock for the hosts in the 1st ODI against the Dasun Shanaka-led side at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium. Gill smashed a quick-fire 70 off 60 balls while skipper Rohit played an entertaining knock of 83 off 67 balls in the 1st ODI. Openers Rohit and Gill stitched an impressive 143-run opening stand which laid the foundation for a gigantic total at Guwahati.
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Sharing his views during a discussion on Star Sports, former Indian cricketer Kaif opined that the hosts are playing the 'better player' in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. Kaif also cited the example of veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was earlier dropped from the ODI squad. "It was the right decision. They are playing the better player. It is not that a left-hander is being sent at the top of the order so that you get a left-right combination. Shikhar Dhawan was playing because he was a good player and had a good record and not because he was a left-hander," Kaif said.
While Gill pipped Kishan in the starting eleven, middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer was preferred over in-form Suryakumar Yadav in the series opener against the former world champions. Star batter Suryakumar slammed a sensational century in the 3rd T20I against Sri Lanka to help India seal the three-match series 2-1 at Rajkot.
Former cricketer Kaif also lauded opener Gill for living up to expectations in India's 67-run win over Sri Lanka in the 1st ODI. "They played Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer. Gill will have to be praised because he knows the atmosphere in which he is playing. He knows Shikhar has been dropped and Ishan Kishan is sitting outside after scoring a double century but he showed faith in his game," Kaif added.