IND vs AUS: KL Rahul sacked as vice-captain; retained in Test squad

BCCI articulation signed by Jay Shah on Sunday, didn't refer to Rahul as the vice-captain for the series unlike the initial two Tests.

  • Sinchan Saha | February 20, 2023 | 5:54 am

KL Rahul has been removed from his position as vice-captain of the Test team by the BCCI due to his sub-par performance over the past year. Rahul started the series against Sri Lanka as Team India’s permanent vice-captain after first joining the leadership group for the South Africa tour in 2022.

KL Rahul been able to keep his spot in the Indian team for the final two Test matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy despite a poor run of form. Strangely, the India Cricket Board (BCCI) articulation endorsed by Jay Shah on Sunday, didn’t make reference to Rahul as the vice-captain for the series dissimilar to the initial two Tests. When regular captain Rohit Sharma was injured and unable to play, Rahul led the Indian team in Bangladesh in December.

Image Source: Hindustan Times

In addition, he was given the opportunity to lead the team in one of the Test matches against South Africa as well as in the two-match Test series against Bangladesh. However, given his subpar bat performances, there were concerns about his place in the team. While removing Rahul from vice-captaincy, the BCCI did not remove him from the team.

In addition, Ishan Kishan was mentioned as the sole wicketkeeper for the subsequent three-match ODI series against Australia. The selectors have not assigned wicketkeeping duties to Rahul, who remains in the ODI squad. However, Rahul and the team management have insisted that his batting and wicket-keeping at No. 5 gives the ODI team more balance.

The BCCI hasn’t named a vice-captain for the last two Two Test matches, which is surprising. In Bangladesh, Cheteshwar Pujara helped Rahul, but he hasn’t been given the job.

KL Rahul has scored only 175 runs in seven Test matches

Since 2022, he has only once exceeded the 50-run threshold. As the ODI captain for the home series against Sri Lanka, Rahul was also fired. Although Hardik Pandya is now the vice-captain of the ODI team, he has been included in the ODI squad for the Australia series as well. Since the T20 World Cup in 2022, he has led India in every T20I.

It is not yet clear assuming Rahul holds his spot in the playing XI in the last two Test matches. Shubman Gill now sits on the bench because of his position at the top. The youngster is having an incredible run in 2023, but Rahul has beaten him.

According to statements from the Indian camp, it appears that the management of the Indian team is convinced of Rahul’s two centuries in 2021 at Lord’s and Centurion.

“If you look at the couple of hundreds he got outside India, one of the best I have seen from KL, especially the one at Lord’s batting on that damp pitch after losing the toss and put in to bat,” Rohit said on Sunday.

Rahul is supported by captain Rohit Sharma and may also play in the third Test. From March 1 to 5, Indore’s Holkar Stadium will host the penultimate Test in the four-match series. From March 9 to March 13, the Narendra Modi Stadium will host the fourth Test match

Image Source: Deccan Herald

However, BCCI sources confirmed that the selectors purposefully chose not to name a vice-captain. This could indicate to Rahul that he won’t be in a position to stay for very long.

Unadkat, Jadeja back for ODIs

Unadkat was also included in the ODI squad by the selectors. In 2013, the left-arm medium-pacer played his last ODI in a home series against the West Indies. Arshdeep Singh has not been selected for the ODI series, which is interesting. Since the Asia Cup in September, Ravindra Jadeja also makes a comeback in white-ball cricket. In July of last year, he played an ODI in England.

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India’s Test squad for third and fourth Test against Australia: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Shreyas lyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat.

India’s ODI squad against Australia: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas lyer, Suryakumar Yadav, K L Rahul, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (Vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Jaydev Unadkat.