“No place for KL Rahul”, Gautam Gambhir picks his ideal top 6 for India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

As far as former India opener Gautam Gambhir is concerned, India’s ODI openers should be settled on without question with the 2023 World Cup in mind. The veteran left-handed batsman recommended that India’s captain Rohit Sharma and the youngster Ishan Kishan open the innings. 

Since Shikhar Dhawan seems to be out of contention after being dismissed from India’s ODI team for the Sri Lanka home series, Gambhir thinks Ishan Kishan has the upper hand over Shubman Gill and KL Rahul thanks to his quickest double century in the third ODI against Bangladesh.

Kishan, who has been a backup opener in T20Is for over a year, made the most of the chance presented to him in the last ODI against Bangladesh by smashing a double century off of just 126 balls. Gambhir has declared the dispute settled, and he believes Kishan deserves extensive playing time.

“I’m amazed we’re discussing this because someone’s got a double-hundred in the previous innings. The discussion is over. It has to be Ishan Kishan. Someone who can get a double-hundred in those conditions against a reasonable attack – especially at [their] home – should play,” Gambhir told Star Sports.

Rohit should open with Kishan, according to the ex-KKR skipper, followed by Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, and Hardik Pandya. Gambhir has said that KL Rahul would play the role of the backup opener and keeper in his squad.

“It’s very difficult to look beyond Rohit and Ishan Kishan to open the batting, Virat at three, Surya at four, [and] Shreyas at five, because he’s been incredible in the last one-and-a-half years. Yes, he’s had issues against the short ball, but he’s been able to manage it. You can’t be the best against everything but if you’re able to manage it and get the numbers going for you, you can’t look beyond Shreyas at No. 5 and Hardik [Pandya] at 6,” Gambhir said of his ideal India XI. 

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