India were without Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul in their recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand, but the squad is so deep they hardly felt their absence. While their replacements Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav didn’t exactly dominate the series, India kept consistently high scores in the series thanks to the scintillating form of opener Shubman Gill and other top-class hitters.
Captain Rohit Sharma, who himself scored his first ODI century in over three years in the third game, has said the team wants to give as many players as possible the chance to show themselves. Rajat Patidar was one who was unable to make an appearance during the series, and some expected him to feature in the game as India had already achieved a series victory by that time. Rohit said the team is following the plans they have laid out ahead of the World Cup later this year and selecting players for matches accordingly.
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“If we can find space for him, we’ll get him to play,” Rohit said of Patidar. “At the moment Kohli is number 3, Ishan Kishan is number 4 – he sat out the final series after scoring a double century. At number 5 is Suryakumar Yadav, the whole world knows what he has done and at number 6 is Hardik Pandya. We want everyone to be able to play, but we can only do that if we find space for them.”
The third ODI was hosted at Holkar Stadium in Indore where Patidar plays his home games for Madhya Pradesh in domestic cricket. “I know maybe we could have played him in Indore. In Ranchi, Ishan will also say let me play, I’m from Ranchi. But it doesn’t work like that, we go according to some plans. Everyone will get a chance. That’s what we told the guys, we will give you the chance to play whenever we can, but that chance has to come, there are a lot of guys waiting in line,” said Rohit.
India now takes on New Zealand in a three-match T20I series before hosting Australia for a highly anticipated four-match Test series. The series against New Zealand starts in Ranchi on Friday, the second game follows in Lucknow on Sunday. The series ends on Wednesday in Ahmedabad.