The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) finally ended the waiting game and announced India’s squad for the 3-mach T20I series against Afghanistan. Seeing the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Sanju Samson in the squad, several fans were understandably elated but there were those too who were left to question the absence of wicket-keeper batter KL Rahul. The Karnataka lad couldn’t find a place in the team as an opener or a middle-order batter, a position he has made his own in ODIs and Tests, as the selection committee preferred other options.
Rahul was one of the finest performers for India on the tour of South Africa, slamming a century on the tricky Centurion pitch. But, the selection committee, led by Ajit Agarkar, couldn’t find him a spot in the shortest format team for the Afghanistan assignment.
Why KL Rahul Wasn’t Picked For Afghanistan T20Is?
As per a report in the Indian Express, Rahul wasn’t given the nod for the 3-match T20I series as the selectors fancied other options, both for the opening and middle-order spots. Rahul has played most of his T20 International games as an opener, But the emergence of Shubman Gill, and Yashasvi Jaiswal made the competition for the two opening spots tougher.
With the likes of Kohli and Rohit also in the squad, there was no longer a spot available at the top of the batting order.
When it comes to wicket-keepers, the selectors preferred the duo of Jitesh Sharma and Sanju Samson are better suited as finishers. Rahul, on the other hand, hasn’t yet played this role in T20Is. The upcoming IPL, however, will help Rahul lodge a case for himself as a specialist finisher who keeps wickets.
The Karnataka lad must take up this role at his franchise Lucknow Super Giants, and ensure he delivers if he is to find a spot in India’s T20 World Cup squad.
There isn’t much clarity on the absence of Ishan Kishan either. The wicket-keeper batter asked to be relieved from the Test series against South Africa due to a ‘personal matter’. It isn’t yet known what the reason behind his withdrawal was and when he would be available next.