Young Ishan Kishan will open the batting for India in the series opener against West Indies on Sunday alongside Rohit Sharma since late entrant Mayank Agarwal is serving mandatory quarantine, the captain announced in the pre-match press conference on Saturday. (More Sports News)
Kishan was drafted into the ODI squad after specialist openers Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad tested positive for COVID-19 and are now in isolation. Even KL Rahul is also going to miss the first ODI due to some family commitments. India will play three ODIs against West Indies.
“Ishan Kishan is the only option we have and he will open with me,” Rohit said on the eve of the series-opener. “Mayank was added to the squad and he is still in isolation. He came (joined) late and we have some rules in place.
“If someone is travelling, we have to put them in (mandatory 3-day) quarantine. He has still not finished his quarantine, so Ishan will open the innings. Unless there's an injury as we have a training today and there is nothing of that sort,” he added.
Ishan shares a special bond with Rohit while opening the batting as they have done for Mumbai Indians in the IPL for several years bringing in a lot of success for the cash-rich league’s most successful franchise. Hopefully, the results will be the same in national colours too.
Meanwhile, apart from Dhawan and Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer also tested positive for COVID-19. Rohit also made it clear that the trio are still in isolation and they are still not sure when they would be available.
“I have no idea,” Rohit said when asked when the trio would be available. “At the moment the three guys are in isolation. They are doing pretty well and that’s a good thing. But yeah, it’s so uncertain. Last minute, you will see anyone turning positive and you have to make a change and get someone else,” Rohit said.
The skipper understands that a situation like this can disturb the balance of the team. “Look, it is a tricky one (situation). With Covid, there is so much uncertainty and if it happens, how long it takes for recovery is different as every individual is different. Sometimes, it takes 7-8 days and sometimes, it can take 14 days,” he said.
In COVID times, one might have to play in a position which isn't exactly his preferred one, said the captain, who expects his players to be flexible. “But these are times that we live and boys in the team understand that. Opportunity can come at any point and they have to be ready for it.
“But for the team, they have to do it and this is something that we have spoken at length and made it clear with everyone that this is the possible situation,” the skipper added.
“It can happen at any time in these situations. So anyone coming in place of anyone should try and adapt quickly and get the game going on,” he made it clear.