By India Today Sports Desk: Former India cricketer, Saba Karim has heaped immense praise on young Indian batsman, Ishan Kishan, for his remarkable performance during the first ODI against West Indies held at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados on Thursday, July 27. Kishan scored 52 runs off 46 balls with seven fours and one six as India chased down 115 in 22.5 overs.
The match saw the fresh pairing of Kishan and Shubman Gill opening the innings for India where the former impressed with his knock. His contribution was pivotal in taking the Indian team to their victory over the West Indies by 5 wickets and getting a 1-0 lead in the ongoing series.
Karim, commenting on Kishan’s performance during an interaction on Jio Cinema said, “I did not expect him to open the innings. But good to see him being given the chance to open the innings and it adds to his value.”
Karim backed Kishan to be a back-up option for KL Rahul, who has been out of competitive cricket for the last couple of months due to injury.
“I am presuming KL Rahul is your main wicketkeeper-batter and looking at Kishan as a backup gives the team so much of flexibility,” Karim was quoted as saying. He suggests that Kishan’s versatility as a middle-order batsman and a backup opener adds worth to the Indian side.
Continuing his praises for Kishan, Karim spoke further about the potential benefits the southpaw affords to the squad.
“You can get Kishan as a reserve keeper who can bat in the middle order as well as be a backup opener for you. So, you do not have to pick another backup opener in your team. Because it becomes so challenging to pick 15 players, it comes in very handy. As he has spent more time in the middle, his confidence as a batter and keeper has increased,” he added.
Last year, Kishan scored the fastest double hundred in the history of ODIs against Bangladesh at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.