Since the World Cup, MS Dhoni has not featured in a single match for India as the veteran has made himself unavailable for selection. Virat Kohli has usually stuck to Rishabh Pant as the frontline wicket-keeper in the limited-overs format. But a concussion to the young keeper in the first ODI against Australia prompted Kohli to go for KL Rahul to be the man with the gloves. Not only did Rahul deliver well with the bat but also behind the stumps for the Men in Blue. He scored a brilliant 80 from 52 balls batting at no. 5, which was instrumental in India's win in the second ODI in Rajkot.
After the second ODI, captain Virat Kohli stuck to the same combination again and India sealed the series. This time Rahul opened the innings as Shikhar Dhawan was unavailable with an injury. With India registering the series win, captain Virat was asked about the move in the post-match conference and he said,
“With Rahul keeping for us, it's great for the balance of the side. For now, we will stick to this and see where it goes.”
Kohli also mentioned how Rahul Dravid keeping for India in the 2003 World Cup had helped the team in achieving a better balance by allowing themselves to play an extra batsman. “It allows us to play an extra batsman. Rahul can bat at any position and his keeping is also pretty good”, Kohli added.
He also said that the team understands that they have previously done the mistake of not giving someone a long run at a place, which is why the management wants to give Rahul games to and see how things go. “We would like to stick to the winning combination,” Kohli said while confirming Rahul as the keeper for a few more matches.
Kohli went on say that Rahul is himself willing to take the responsibility and he is open to the challenge. He also praised the young batsman for his ability to adapt to the match situation. “He plays proper cricketing shots. Anyone doing that will be successful at any batting position. He has done a lot of work in the past few months and it's showing in his game. “
With the ICC T20 World Cup coming, India seems to have decided to try and see if Rahul can be a perfect fit in in the side. The right-handed batsman from Karnataka is in really good form with the bat and may very well be the front line batters for Team India in the upcoming mega event.
(To get exclusive tips related to your fantasy team, enter your name and phone number below)