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World Cup: Iyer, Bumrah and the KL question

Updated on: 10 September,2023 01:18 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Rohan Koli |

Middle order batsman Iyer and ace pacer Jasprit have given a good impression of themselves in their comeback, but are Rahul’s stats good enough for him to walk in at the expense of on-fire Ishan Kishan?

World Cup: Iyer, Bumrah and the KL question

Jasprit Bumrah

India’s middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer and pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who have made comebacks from injury recently will be definite starters in Team India’s playing XI for the ODI World Cup starting next month.

However, wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul will have to work hard to earn his place into the playing XI. Though the team management has given enough indication that Rahul will be the preferred choice as wicketkeeper in the playing XI, the Bangalorean will have to fight for his place with stumper Ishan Kishan in the form of his life.

Rahul hasn't been consistent enough in the last two years, scoring just 477 runs in 16 ODIs at an average of 36.69. While this tally includes four 50-plus scores, he has been dismissed under 15 runs in seven innings. Rahul’s inconsistent show is a cause of concern for India and the team management would have a good reason for keeping the in-form Kishan, who has scored four consecutive half-centuries, out of the final XI.

KL Rahul

Meanwhile, Iyer, who underwent back surgery earlier this year, made a comeback during India’s opening Asia Cup league match against Pakistan. He scored 14 off nine balls, including two fours before being caught by midwicket fielder Fakhar Zaman off pacer Haris Rauf.

However, looking at his performance since January 2022, the Mumbai man has scored 832 in 22 ODIs at an impressive average of 48.94, including one century and six half-centuries.

On the other hand, Bumrah, who has not got much game-time in the last two years and has been in and out of the team due to injury, has always been captain’s go-to man for the death overs. Returning from his back injury in the T20I series against Ireland last month, Bumrah produced a match-winning performance claiming 2-24 off four overs. He dismissed two Irish batsmen conceding just 15 runs in the second T20I.

The right-arm pacer with an unorthodox bowling action, has claimed 13 wickets in six ODIs from January 2022, including a career-best 6-19 in India’s massive 10-wicket win over defending champions England at The Oval last year.

Bumrah's career economy rate of 4.63 in 73 ODIs, will also be a massive boost for Rohit Sharma & Co going into the World Cup.

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