“An Alternative For Shikhar Dhawan And Rohit Sharma”: Saba Karim On India Star’s Role In ODIs


After the T20 World Cup 2022 disappointment, India’s preparation for next year’s ODI World Cup has begun. While only one of the three matches were possible against New Zealand, the team will now regroup for the ODI series against Bangladesh, beginning from December 4th. There do remain a few selection questions in the minds, especially with regards to the new players that have come into the squad, as well as the position of KL Rahul who is an opener but has been batting in the middle-order in ODIs of late.

Saba Karim, in a select media interaction ahead of the start of the series, shared his opinion on the topic while speaking to NDTV. When asked about the newcomers like Rajat Patidar and Rahul Tripathi, Saba said that such youngsters need to be encouraged.

“I am not looking so far at this stage,” Saba said when asked about building a team for the 2023 ODI World Cup. “These two are exciting talents. I’ve talked about the need to restructure the way we white-ball cricket. It is not a bad idea to try out a few youngsters and see whether they fit into that kind of a template or not. I think these are good times for such cricketers to come through the system. They’ve done well in the IPL, they’ve done well in white-ball cricket at the domestic level. Such people need to be encouraged.”

“We first need to wait for the selection committee to come in. The selection committee, along with the team management, need to work out a strategy they have in mind, leading up to the World Cup,” he added.

When asked about the best position for KL Rahul, Saba said that he sees the Karnataka lad as more of an opening alternative to Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, rather than a middle-order player in the 50-over format.

“I look at him more as an opening alternative for Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. He has done well for India as an opener. He is such a classy player. It’s just a matter of time for him to strike form. But, I really don’t know what number he will bat. If not an opener, do we use him as a middle-order batter. Can we give him a long rope there? There are so many other contenders in the frame. Right now, that’s the kind of ambiguity I see in the current 15. That’s something that needs to be settled as soon as possible by the team management and the captain,” he opined.

Watch the LIVE coverage of Bangladesh vs India – 1st ODI on SONY SPORTS TEN 5 (English) SONY SPORTS TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY SPORTS TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels on 4th December 2022 from 12:30 PM.

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