File image of Suryakumar Yadav© AFP
Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim has backed Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan as the best replacement options at number 4 and 5 if the first-choice players are not fit in time for the Asia Cup and World Cup. India are expected to announce the squad for the Asia Cup in a few days and it remains to be seen if the preferred choices in Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul make the cut.
“The selectors should take KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer into consideration – they can be included in the team if they are fit. But the wait has not ended, the team will be announced on the 20th from what I know, they have the time until then,” Karim told the media during a chat organised by Jio Cinema.
“But if they are not fit, Ishan Kishan is a good option against Rahul since he can bat as an opener and in the middle-order,” he added.
While Karim named three players for the No 5 slot, he said senior batter Suryakumar would be his first preference.
“If Shreyas Iyer is not fit, you have 2-3 options to pick from, in Tilak Varma, Sanju Samson and Suryakumar Yadav. But for me, Suryakumar has gained experience of playing one-day cricket both domestically and internationally. I will still back Suryakumar Yadav,” Karim said.
Karim also backed Jasprit Bumrah to make the most of the opportunity to get match-time in Ireland. “The team management and selectors would be more concerned about Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness levels and match fitness.
“This (series) is a T20 format and it (captaincy) won’t add more burden on him. It will only help him to understand his body better. They (India) are playing three T20 games, he can play at different phases,” he added.
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