Even Rohit, Virat haven't scored runs: Former Pak captain defends Ishan Kishan's selection for SA T20Is

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: May 24, 2022, 02:21 PM IST
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Many raised fingers seeing Ishan Kishan's name in the 18-man squad, however, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has backed the selection of the MI and India opener for the home T20Is versus South Africa.

On Sunday (May 22), the BCCI selection committee released an 18-member Team India squad for their upcoming five-match T20I series versus South Africa, which is set to be held in India from June 09. While regular captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested, KL Rahul has been given the task to lead the side comprising some young and veteran cricketers.

While some uncapped players such as Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh have been rewarded following their performances in IPL 2022, Ishan Kishan managed to hold onto his place despite an ordinary run in the 15th season for the five-time winners Mumbai Indians (MI). Being the most expensive player in this year's mega auction, the 23-year-old Ishan ended the 15th edition with 418 runs at a strike rate of 120.11 in 14 matches. He wasn't at his consistent best and surely felt the pressure of a heavy price tag. 

Thus, many raised concerns about seeing Ishan's name in the 18-man squad, however, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has backed the selection of the MI and India opener. He cited examples of Rohit and Virat's ordinary runs with the bat in the ongoing season and defended Ishan. For the unversed, Rohit ended with not even a single half-century whereas Kohli too struggled for runs but has managed two half-centuries in 14 games with his IPL franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) still alive in the competition with a hard-earned playoffs ticket.

"One IPL season doesn't make a difference. He is a value and utility player. There’s no draft or auction factor involved here while playing for India. When a player goes for ₹15 crore, all 8 franchises are after him. That’s how you calculate his value. Scoring runs in IPL is different. Even Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli haven't scored runs. Ishan Kishan has certainly undergone a chance, because of which he couldn't perform as well as he would have liked to. And that was one big reason why MI struggled this season," Latif said on YouTube show 'Caught Behind'.

India's T20I squad for the South Africa series - KL Rahul (Capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(VC) (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Y Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, R Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik