Asia Cup: Will Ishan Kishan open, or bat in the middle-order?

India are still dabbling with the option of Suryakumar in the ODIs

ishan kishan Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan is set to play the wicketkeeper-batter role in the absence of K.L. Rahul but question remains over the left-hander's batting slot going into the Asia Cup opener against Pakistan on September 2.

The temptation will be to hand Kishan the opening position with Rahul not available for the first two games of the continental event. He had opened the innings in India's last ODI series against the West Indies along with Shubman Gill, and made a good impression.

Kishan made 184 runs in that series from three matches, averaging 61.33 and his scores read 52, 55 and 77.

But it was a rather straightforward move as Rohit Sharma was given a rest during the ODIs against the West Indies.

Now that Rohit has returned to the side and will occupy one opening slot, the Indian think-tank will have to think where to accommodate Kishan.

Opening is also Kishan's most successful slot in the batting order as he had made double hundred there against Bangladesh last year.

Former Indian coach Ravi Shastri too had favoured Kishan opening, saying his uninhibited striking will give India an early upper hand over their opponents.

If he opens, then Gill will have to come down to No. 3 and Virat Kohli will have to take the No. 4 slot. It also means that the returning Shreyas Iyer will have to move down to No.5.

Hardik Pandya will then be coming in at No.6 and there will be no place for Suryakumar Yadav in the side.

Despite his modest record, India were dabbling with the option of Suryakumar in the ODIs because of his prowess at the backend of the innings.

If India indeed want to accommodate Suryakumar in the 11, then they might just have to put a temporary hold on Shreyas's comeback.

The other option India can explore to give Kishan a place at No. 3 Rohit and Gill as openers, with Kohli at No. 4 and Shreyas at No. 5.

The 25-year-old from Jharkhand can also be fitted in the middle-order as he has a reasonable record at No. 4, scoring two fifties in four innings.

They can mull the southpaw at number five too as it gives a certain stability at the top but the only peril is that Kishan has not batted in that position in his 17-match ODI career.

Sanju Samson is here as the travelling reserve keeping in mind the injury of Rahul, and he is not part of the 17-member India squad.

India will not be able to use his services as a wicketkeeper batsman because one of the players, Rahul in this case, has to be ruled out of the Asia Cup for Samson to come into the equation.

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