With twin centuries in the Duleep Trophy final, the Karnataka lad has put himself into a good position to be picked as the third opener in India's Test squad for Australia tour
Team selection is always a tricky matter. It becomes a tad bit trickier though, if the selection has to be made right after a poor tour, or so one would assume.
Even though India started the England Test tour with a lot of promise, it ended up in complete disarray. The abject surrender by the young Indian batsmen in the last four Test innings undid all the good work they did in the first two Tests. It almost felt that the drawn game at Trent Bridge and the win at Lord's were just a couple of flashes in the pan.
At this point though, it won't be a bad idea to remind ourselves of the efforts the same bunch of men made in drawing a Test each in South Africa and New Zealand, courtesy some good batting performance in rather challenging conditions. So, there's hope. Hope is also going to be the key operative word when the selectors meet soon to select the Test team for the tough tour to Australia.
I'd like to believe that the debacle in England wouldn't stop them from reposing their faith in the same group. Murali Vijay, Ajinkaya Rahane and MS Dhoni were the few shining stars for India with the bat and it's fair to assume that they'll continue the good work in Australia too.
While both Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara had rather forgettable outings in England, it's unfair to even entertain the thoughts of finding their replacements.
Even though Rohit Sharma hasn't done much of note since his two back-to-back hundreds against the West Indies in Tests, he's not just likely to retain his place in the squad but also find a place in the playing XI.
The only big question that's likely to be asked during the meeting is about who's going to partner Vijay. And who should be picked as the third opener.
Shikhar Dhawan had a poor Test tour of England but he's likely to retain his place too, for the tour of New Zealand saw him turning the corner in Test cricket overseas. After a disastrous ODI leg, he bounced back with a 100 and 90+ score in the two Test matches.
So, it's only about the third opener in the batting department, and my vote goes to Karnataka's K L Rahul.
He's scored over a 1000 runs in the last Ranji trophy season and topped it up with a century in each innings in the Duleep Trophy final. He's got the horizontal bat shots to bail him out on bouncy Australian pitches and it seems that he has the right temperament to play the longer format.
In fact, a chat with VVS Laxman revealed his thoughts on Rahul being the most technically correct young batsman in India right now. If Laxman says that, I'm happy to back that horse.
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