IND vs AUS 2023,ODI: Upcoming series a lifeline for KL Rahul

The upcoming ODI series against AUS provides a chance to save KL Rahul’s struggling career during one of Indian cricket's most crucial seasons.

IND vs AUS, ODI: Upcoming series a lifeline for KL Rahul
  • Sinchan Saha | March 16, 2023 | 6:20 am

Despite KL Rahul‘s recent Test defeats, the upcoming ODI series against Australia provides a chance to save his struggling career during one of Indian cricket’s most crucial seasons.

Image Source: Indian TV news

Rahul appears to have been given a golden opportunity to redeem himself and secure his spot as a wicket-keeper batsman in Team India for the World Test Championship Final in Oval in June and the ODI WC in India later this year due to the absence of Shreyas lyer (for this series) and Rishabh Pant (for the next six months).

KL Rahul’s case as a reliable No. 5 batsman who can keep wickets in both Test and ODI formats will greatly improve with a successful series against Australia and then a decent IPL-2023

“You can see KL Rahul as a wicketkeeper. If he bats at No. 5 or 6 at the Oval (in the WTC final) then our batting will be stronger. Because he batted well in England last year. He scored a century at Lord’s. Keep KL Rahul in mind when you pick your XI for the WTC final,”

Gavaskar told Sports Tak.

Gavaskar had stressed that Rahul’s presence as a ‘keeper will add muscle to India’s batting in the WTC final. 

“Whether they will select him in the XI or not is up to the selection committee, but in England, you won’t get pitches where the keeper has to stand up to the stumps. In that case, you can pick KL Rahul as a wicketkeeper and even Ishan Kishan can be considered. Their batting is better than Bharat’s,”

he said.

Off-color Rahul has scored seven centuries in Tests, but his highest score in his last 10 innings has been 23. He was bowled out for 20, 17 and 1 in the recently held BGT, and India dropped him from the XI after he failed in the first two Tests of the series. However, it is important to keep in mind that Rahul started the India tour of England in 2021, scoring 84 runs in the first Test at Nottingham and 129 runs in the second Test at Lord’s. He had scored a hundred in the fifth Test at The Oval in 2018

Rahul has scored hundreds in Australia, South Africa, and the West Indies in all 47 Test matches he has played (average 33.44). Rahul has averaged 55.25 and a strike rate of 102.79 in 15 of his 51 ODI matches as a keeper-batsman. His keeper-bat score of 112 against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui in January 2020 is his highest.

India’s fielding coach T Dilip gave Rahul’s “keeping abilities” full marks on Wednesday, two days before the first ODI against the Australians at the Wankhede Stadium.

“We all know that KL Rahul is a wonderful player. He has a proven record. Even in ODIs, in the middle-order, he has proved himself as a batter. As a wicketkeeper, he lends a lot of balance to the team. He is not someone who has picked up the gloves now. He has been doing that since his younger days,”

Dilip said.