Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - 'Didn't want too many left-handers in the middle-order'. Should India continue to open with Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul?
Should India continue to open with Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul?
India's batting coach Vikram Rathore revealed that the decision to have Ishan Kishan open the batting in the game against New Zealand was to avoid a stock-piling of left-handers in the middle-order. India shuffled their top-order up with a view to preventing a situation like that against Pakistan – where a left-arm seamer (Shaheen Afridi = Trent Boult) and a left-arm spinner (Imad Wasim = Mitchell Santner) operated in tandem. But the move didn't pay off with Kishan falling to his Mumbai Indians teammate Trent Boult.
“How things went was that Surya was having some back spasm the previous night,” Rathour said. “So, he was not fit enough to be in the playing XI. So, the person coming in was of course Ishan. And Ishan has done really well as an opener in IPL and in the past for the Indian team as well. And about who takes the call – it was the whole management who sits together and takes this call and of course, Rohit is part of that group.
“So, Rohit was of course part of that discussion, which tactically made sense having a left-hander upfront because we didn't want too many left-handers in the late middle order with Ishan, Pant and Jadeja. So, tactically it made sense and that guy has batted well at the top of the order.”
India's batting-order reshuffle also left them playing two anchor batters – Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli – at Nos. 3 and 4 post the PowerPlay. As it turned out, New Zealand could apply the spin choke and eke out as many as 71 boundary-less balls.
“One of the factors is definitely the pitch,” Rathour defended. “When we bat first on these surfaces, even though it doesn't look very uneven or any such thing, there is variation in pace and bounce, so strike rotation is an issue. It's not only with our team, but for every team that has batted first, this has been an issue.
“Unfortunately, I agree that we were not able to execute big shots well. So, that will happen once in a while in a game and unfortunately, that happened with us in the last game. Nobody could execute the big hits that they were trying, but as such it's more to do with the surface that we've been playing on.”