India batting coach Vikram Rathour has said that the decision to have Ishan Kishan batting on top was taken to avaoid too many left-handers in the middle-order.
Ishan and KL Rahul opened the batting vs New Zealand while Rohit Sharma played at No.3.
But, the move didn’t pay off as Kishan holed out for four off eight balls, while Rohit managed a run-a-ball 14 before falling to Ish Sodhi. Many former cricketers and experts have criticised the team management for demoting Rohit, however, the Indian batting coach feels it tactically made sense.
“How things went was that Surya was having some back spasm the previous night. 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,” explained Rathour.
“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,” he added.
India will take on Afghnistan on Wednesday in their third match of the tournament with an eye of staying alive in race to semifinals.