The ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023 is still a ways off, but the sooner countries finalize their plans, the better. Particularly for the Indian squad, which will host the competition this time. There will be pressure on Nation India to maintain the pattern and ultimately end their wait for an ICC trophy next year because the host team has won the last three 50-overs World Cups – India in 2011, Australia in 2015, and England in 2019.
For the Men in Blue, things haven’t exactly gone as planned over the past year or so. For Rohit Sharma and company, the two biggest problems have been player injuries and form issues. Established players are under pressure to demonstrate why they should remain in the club, especially with talented rookies vying for a spot on the roster after a streak of strong performances. KL Rahul is one such prominent player whose position in the Indian team appears to have come under criticism. The India opener has been criticized for not scoring many runs, and the criticism has grown louder now that players like Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan have scored a lot.
There is uncertainty regarding Rohit Sharma’s opening partner because he will undoubtedly start for the team. The two best prospects are undoubtedly Rahul and Dhawan, but the selectors cannot dismiss Ishan given that he recently produced a fantastic double century. Yes, a lot could change between now and then, but as long as Ishan keeps getting opportunities and scoring runs, Rahul and Dhawan won’t be able to relax. Ishan should actually be India’s first choice opener for the World Cup in 10 months, according to former Australia pacer Brett Lee.
“With this deadly double, Ishan has staked a strong claim to open for India in the ODI World Cup at home in 2023. Will this happen? I don’t know. Should it happen? Hell yeah it should. The guy just scored the fastest 200 in ODI history. But if he can show consistency, stay fit, and be around the next few months, he should be a sure-shot opener for India at the World Cup,” Lee said on his official YouTube channel.
“Back Ishan to make it in the World Cup squad with an eye on the future and clearly, he would be on a high after that knock as he should be. However, a word of caution. Too much praise had led to cobwebs in the head. So my advice to Ishan Kishan would be… forget about the milestone, forget about the double hundred as soon as you can. There are bigger milestones to achieve, higher peaks to scale. Ishan Kishan has to forget about the euphoria of his double hundred. Just focus on the process, stay fit and keep smashing big runs.”
Ishan broke the record for fastest ODI double century after slamming a historic double tonne in just 126 balls, passing Chris Gayle in the process. Ishan became just the fourth batter in ODI history to record a double, joining the esteemed company of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Rohit, and Lee is still in awe of what the 23-year-old accomplished against Bangladesh in Chattogram a few weeks ago.
“I am a little late in reacting to this but as they say… better late than never. What we saw just a few days ago from Ishan Kishan was truly amazing. Bangladesh had no answer. The fastest double-hundred in ODI history, that’s right. 210 runs off just 132 balls… 24 fours and 10 massive sixes. A ferocious knock with shots all around the dial. Unbelievable batting, he could have easily got a triple hundred as well. It helped that he had the master Virat Kohli at the other end. What I loved about the innings was not just Ishan Kishan’s shot-making but Kohli’s reaction when Ishan ran the 200th run. What a great spirit and camaraderie between the two,” mentioned Lee.