India vs West Indies: Mumbai Indian star Ishan Kishan said on Wednesday that he is ready to be versatile when it comes to batting position for India in T20Is but he loves the role of the opener.
Speaking in the lead-up to the 1st T20I of a 3-match series against the West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Ishan said he is looking to make the most of the opportunities that come his way in the ongoing series.
Captain Rohit Sharma, who won the toss and opted to field in the 1st T20I on Wednesday, confirmed that he will open the batting in the absence of vice-captain KL Rahul, who was ruled out of the series due to a hamstring niggle.
India also have Chennai Super Kings star Ruturaj Gaikwad for the role but the team management went ahead with Ishan for the opening role.
Ishan has played 6 T20Is for India so far and has opened in 4 of them. However, the aggressive wicketkeeper batter has also batted at No. 3 and N. 6, managing 113 runs in 5 innings which includes a fifty.
With India looking to firm up their backup options for this year’s T20 World Cup, Ishan is a likely candidate for the back-up opener role and the young batter said the World Cup thoughts do play in his mind but that he is focused on the job in hand in the ongoing series.
“I am happiest when I open the innings. But you know, looking att the situation and what the team wants me to do, I just focus on my role. Comfortable batting anywhere, but when it’s opening, I love it the most,” Ishan told Star Sports on Wednesday.
“Those thoughts are there (T20 World Cup) but there was a clear message from our captain and the coach that we will be given the freedom to go there and express ourselves. There will be backing. The message is clear that we are here because they see an X-factor here.”
“Yeah, obviously it’s done (the hangover from the IPL auction). Had a good chat with Rahul sir also, asking us to just focus on what we’re doing right now. Obviously, IPL is a big platform for everyone. It’s a very good phase when people get happy, knowing they are going to good teams. But at the end, the focus is on what we have to do in this series,” Ishan added.
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