Sunil Gavaskar acknowledged Rahul’s past performance and said he has been a consistent performer in the past
Sunil Gavaskar. Pic/AFP
The inclusion of both Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul in India's middle-order became the talk of the town ever since chief selector Ajit Agarkar announced a 15-man squad for the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar welcomed the move, saying there should be a surplus of players in the middle, but Rahul and Shreyas Iyer may face off in the finals for the ultimate position.
"It could be a fight between KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in the Super Fours in the Asia Cup. With the kind of form that Ishan Kishan showcased against Pakistan, if both of them play, it might be a good idea to let Ishan keep wickets because if Rahul has undergone recovery from an injury, then getting up and down might be a bit of an issue. It makes sense to have Ishan to keep wickets. It could actually be a fight between Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul for the No. 4 and No. 5 positions," Sunil Gavaskar said on Tuesday.
Kishan's performance in the West Indies tour last month put him in the running for the Asia Cup, and the Mumbai Indians star secured his place in the World Cup after a great effort against Pakistan in India's Asia Cup opener on Saturday, his inning of 82 runs in 81 balls came in handy after the loss of early wickets.
The team management appears to be supporting the wicketkeeper-batter despite K.L Rahul's injury troubles. While his cricket fitness hasn't been assessed, he may be physically fit. Running between the wickets and enduring the rigours of fieldwork could be difficult.
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However, Gavaskar acknowledged Rahul’s past performance and said he has been a consistent performer in the past.
"He is a proven performer with the bat and when you have been a proven performer, you get a bit of leeway. That's exactly what has happened in this instance. It can be a bit of a worry that he hasn't played any cricket. Now, you are flying him to Sri Lanka, he will be able to play a few matches and then you see his fitness,” said Gavaskar.
"You have three ODIs against Australia in the third week of September. You can still have a replacement in the World Cup. There is a technical committee of the ICC that will assess the injury and decide whether there can be a replacement or not. I don't think there should be a problem with that," he added.
(With IANS inputs)