IND vs AUS: Gill, Kishan to open for India in 1st ODI, confirms captain Hardik

IND vs AUS, 1st ODI: With not much clarity on when Shreyas Iyer would be able to return, the Indian team management has started to look for solutions in a bid to keep its preparation on course for the ODI World Cup, to be held in India later this year.

FILE PHOTO: Shubman Gill, and Ishan Kishan in action.

FILE PHOTO: Shubman Gill, and Ishan Kishan in action. | Photo Credit: K MURALI KUMAR

IND vs AUS, 1st ODI: With not much clarity on when Shreyas Iyer would be able to return, the Indian team management has started to look for solutions in a bid to keep its preparation on course for the ODI World Cup, to be held in India later this year.

The recurrence of lower back pain has ruled Shreyas Iyer out of action for a while. The batter will not only be missing the three-match ODI series against Australia but is also a doubtful starter for the Indian Premier League.

With not much clarity on when he would be able to return, the Indian team management has started to look for solutions in a bid to keep its preparation on course for the ODI World Cup, to be held in India later this year.

“(There’s) no timeline, we have to hope for the best to wish him a speedy recovery. I have been in that situation where back could be a problem... We will miss him but we have to find solutions if he isn’t around. If he is, he is of course welcome,” said Hardik Pandya, India’s stand-in captain for the first ODI in Mumbai. “There’s a lot of time to think about how we can go forward…”

‘Not bothered’

For the record, the ODI World Cup is still seven months away, but in a bid to end the title jinx, the Board had earlier decided to earmark a pool of 20 contenders for the ICC event. But with no clarity over Jasprit Bumrah’s possible return, post-surgery in New Zealand, the team management has been forced to relook at its pace bowling department.

“There’s no long term plan as such.  Jassi hasn’t been around for a quite some time now. The bowling group has been doing a decent job. They’re all experienced now… with the number of games they have played. Having  Jassi makes a massive difference but to be very honest, we aren’t much bothered because the guys who have taken the role of  Jassi, I am quite confident they’ll be doing very well,” Pandya said, “It gives us good confidence…”

On workload

Soon after retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, captain Rohit Sharma had said that the workload of the players, who will feature in the World Test Championship final against Australia in June - shortly after the IPL - will be monitored. But will there be a similar plan in place for the core players, who are expected to be part of the ODI World Cup?

“That is not my call. We have to have faith in our S&Cs. I am a guy who trusts his team. These calls of workload, who should play when, who should not play are completely on guys who are professionals and it is their call,” Pandya said.

“All these guys are confident that if they miss out on some matches, then they miss out. It’s okay. That’s the confidence we have. If someone misses out because of workload management, this management has shown confidence and trust in the players. I think that’s the reason players who have gone out have come back with a lot of security,” he added.

He, however, indicated that in the three-match series, he is ready to bowl the quota of overs, if required.

Ishan-Gill to open

Pandya also revealed that Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill will be opening the innings for India in Mumbai, in the absence of regular captain and opener Rohit. “Ishan and Shubman will be opening. The wicket looks how it is throughout the year. I have played here for almost seven years and it is one of the finest grounds I have played on. It’s going to be challenging since this wicket will give equal opportunities to both sides,” Pandya said.

With the Indian Test team qualifying for the WTC final, Pandya was asked if he would like to be part of the team for the final at The Oval. But the seasoned campaigner brushed it aside, saying, “No. I am an ethically very strong person. I haven’t done 10 per cent to reach there. I am not even a part of 1 per cent. So me coming there and taking someone’s place will ethically not go well.”

“If I want to play Test cricket, I’ll go through the grind and earn my spot. Hence, for that reason I will not be available for the WTC final or future Test series until I don’t feel that I have earned my spot,” he added. 

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