IND vs AUS: Rohit gives first reaction on selector’s big decision regarding Rahul and Gill

Even though KL Rahul's place in the Indian Test XI is the most talked-about topic on social media and among experts, it hasn't affected Team India's preparations for the third Border-Gavaskar Trophy test against Australia

  • Sinchan Saha | February 28, 2023 | 5:35 pm

On KL Rahul’s removal as India vice-captain for the remaining two Tests against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India captain Rohit Sharma offered his initial response.

Image Source: Times of India

Even though KL Rahul’s place in the Indian Test XI is the most talked-about topic on social media and among experts, it hasn’t affected Team India’s preparations for the third Border-Gavaskar Trophy test against Australia, according to captain Rohit Sharma’s remarks at the Indore pre-match press conference. After his string of low scores since the South Africa tour last year, Rahul’s position was always up for debate. His failure in the first two Tests in Nagpur and Delhi, as well as his subsequent removal from the vice-captain’s position, only added to the chorus. However, Rohit did not alter his position regarding Rahul in any way.

Rohit and head coach Rahul Dravid made it clear after India’s six-wicket victory in the second Test that the team management will always back players like Rahul, who have scored multiple hundreds overseas and are extremely talented. The Indian captain added that Rahul’s removal as vice-captain of the Test team “indicates nothing” on the eve of the third Test. It should be noted that India has not named a vice-captain for the remaining two Tests of the series.

“I said it after the last game also. When we talk about players going through a tough time, anyone with potential will be given enough time to prove himself. Being vice-captain or not being vice-captain doesn’t tell you anything. At that point in time when he was the vice-captain, he was probably the senior most. His removal of vice-captaincy doesn’t indicate anything,”

Rohit said on Tuesday.

Shubman Gill, who will start the third Test in Rahul’s place as opener, has been batting longer and catching longer in the slips and forward short-leg, all of which point to a return to the whites. Captain Rohit responded that it is routine when asked about the practice sessions and Gill’s active involvement in the lead-up, which was the most in the series. Rohit stated that he would only announce the XI at the toss.

“As far as Gill and KL both are concerned, that is how they train and practice before any game. Today was an optional training session for the entire group. All 17-18 are in the reckoning. It’s not just about Gill and Rahul. But as far as our XI is concerned, we have not finalized it yet. I prefer it to be announced at the toss. Can’t count out last-minute injuries and all and we will keep it interesting for you guys as well,”

Rohit added.

The few Indian cricketers who attended the optional practice session on the day before the match included Gill and Rohit. Similar to Monday, Gill batted long in the nets. Before a Test match, Rahul and a lot of others decided to give the session a bad start, which is not unusual.

India leads the four-match series 2-0, and if they win the third Test, they will not only secure their spot in the World Test Championship final but also the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.