IND Vs NZ 1st ODI : Will Ishan Kishan’s new batting role help India in the long run?

IND Vs NZ 1st ODI : Will Ishan Kishan's new batting role help India in the long run?

So, after a positive start to 2023 against Sri-Lanka during the 3-match T20I and ODI series, India are gearing up to play their 2nd ODI series of the year against New Zealand. This will be for the 2nd time in the space of 3 months that both the teams are squaring off.

Back in November 2022, right after the T20 World cup, the Blues toured to New Zealand for 3 T20Is and ODIs. India had clinched the T20I series but due to bad weather conditions, the last 2 ODI’s were abandoned. However, with clear skies in India, the series is expected to go on without any obstacles.

Indian Captain Rohit Sharma meanwhile revealed a few things ahead of the first match during a press conference. One of the main highlights were Ishan Kishan and Mohammad Siraj.

The Indian management became subject to criticism after opting to bench Kishan for the ODI series against Sri-Lanka, however, Rohit Sharma suggested that the Lefty is expected to play against the Kiwis in a new role.

We have mostly seen Ishan Kishan bat as an opener for India and the last time he opened the innings, he came back to the pavilion after smacking a Double century against Bangladesh. Now the management has decided to test him in a new role and see how he is able to operate in the Middle order.

This is nothing new, India have given plenty of opportunities to players with different roles. It could be an attempt to see the flexibility and versatility of Batters. Most notably KL Rahul, who used to mainly open was tried at number 4 and now we see him play at number 5.

And with Ishan Kishan’s peak years ahead of him, India can try and test him for a new role before the ICC Cricket World cup begins from November.

We know that Ishan Kishan is a capable player who is always ready to adjust according to the needs of the team. He is a hard hitter of the ball and once he gets set, there is no stopping him. If we look at his ODI record, in 10 outings and 9 innings, the 24-year-old has amassed 477 runs with a Double-Century and 3 half-centuries under his belt.

If we are to dissect his innings according to his position in the batting order then Ishan Kishan has scored the most runs as an Opener – 238 runs – 28 and 210. Is it bad enough for an Opener? Definitely not. He has appeared 4 times as a 1st Down batter and he scored 163 runs which also includes his debut match 59.

Thrice he has appeared as a Number 4 batter where he scored 76 runs. These figures tells us that Ishan Kishan is a versatile batter and his flexibility can do wonders for the Indian team. We are sure of his capability because his numbers are backing him.

But will India’s decision to play him in the middle-order work? Kishan as an Opener has scored 238 runs and when we combine his numbers when he doesn’t open then it is 239. You tell us which Ishan Kishan is better – the Opener or the middle-order batter?