Team India produced a phenomenal performance in the first ODI of the series against Australia on Friday, defeating the visitors by five wickets in Mumbai. Inviting the Aussies to bat, Team India were on target from ball one, bowling the Steve Smith-led side out on 188. Hosts, then, chased down the target with over 10 overs remaining as KL Rahul shined with an unbeaten 75-run knock. India did face an early scare when Mitchell Starc ran through the opening order, dismissing Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav early after Marcus Stoinis picked the opening wicket of Ishan Kishan (3).
Ishan had opened for the side in the absence of captain Rohit Sharma, who skipped the match “due to family commitments.” However, the left-handed opener failed to make the most of the opportunity, as he was trapped in front of the wickets by Stoinis in only the second over of the Indian innings. While Ishan might be rueing a lost chance, he would’ve likely been benched even if the youngster had produced a big knock in Mumbai, as Shubman Gill has established his place as a designated opener in the Indian ODI XI.
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Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar, speaking on Star Sports, made a rather interesting comparison of Ishan Kishan’s situation with one of India’s former cricketers, Arun Lal. Manjrekar stated how Lal also received chances majorly in the absence of Sunil Gavaskar.
“Both are openers with double hundreds, and one of them will be dropped and will be replaced by another double centurion (Rohit Sharma). Ishan Kisham reminds me of Arun Lal, because in those days, whenever Sunil Gavaskar couldn’t open the Indian innings for any reason, Arun Lal would’ve been sent as an opener and he would fight it out there. Then, in the next match, Gavaskar would come and he would take his spot,” Manjrekar said during the mid-innings show in the 1st ODI.
Arun Lal played 16 Tests and 13 ODIs for India between 1982-1989, but had an illustrious domestic career; representing Bengal and Delhi, Lal scored 10,421 runs in 156 First-Class matches.