Ishan Kishan will open the Indian innings with Rohit Sharma for the first ODI against the West Indies on Sunday.

In a media conference on the eve of the opening fixture, India captain Rohit confirmed that Ishan “is the only option” available for the opening role as Mayank Agarwal was still in mandatory quarantine.

“Ishan will open. Mayank was added to the squad, but he is still in isolation because he came late. We have some rules where the players joining the team will have to be under quarantine. He still has not finished his quarantine period, so Ishan will open the innings tomorrow,” Rohit said on Saturday.

He added: “Unless there is an injury. We have training today, and let’s hope nothing of that sort [happens]…”

Ishan was initially not a part of the Indian ODI team, but with three players - Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad - testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of days ago, he was drafted into the side.

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“With COVID, it is so uncertain to predict what is going to happen and if anyone [contracts] it, how long will it take to recover. Every individual is different. We have seen that sometimes it takes seven days to recover, or sometimes, it even takes 14 days. So, we have no idea. At the moment, all three of them are in isolation and they are doing pretty well, which is a good thing,” Rohit said.

Talking about how the team handles such a situation, the newly-appointed limited overs captain said: "There could be times when you see people testing positive at the last minute and you have to make a change and get someone else. That’s the time we are living in. All the boys who are part of the team understand that an opportunity may come at any point and they all will have to be ready for it and it might not be their preferred position to bat, but they will have to do it for the team. This is something we have spoken at length and have made clear to everyone."

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Learning curve

Rohit had missed out on India’s tour of South Africa due to injury and despite the touring team losing the ODI series, Rohit wasn’t panicking over it.

“It’s not a lot that we need to change. We just need to adapt to different situations of the game that has been presented in front of us. We have played good ODI cricket over the [last] few years. So, suddenly a loss of series does not mean that there is a panic that we need to create. We need to take sudden understanding to our game and the South Africa series was a great learning for us as to what we did not do collectively as a team,” Rohit said.

“It is a team sport. Everyone has to come together, perform and win a game. It cannot always happen with one or two guys stepping up. It’s always important that everyone comes together and plays the role that has been given to them. Moving forward, what is important for us is the role-clarity of certain individuals in the squad. If we can put that in place and talk to the individuals about it, we can get what we want from different individuals in various times of the game…”