Former Indian legendary bowler, Zaheer Khan has slammed the selectors for their decision to axe KL Rahul from the Test squad despite the fact that Rohit Sharma is not available due to an injury concern. Zaheer Khan said that given the form of KL Rahul in limited overs cricket, he must have been given a chance in the longest format of the game as well.
Zaheer emphasized that the Men in Blue could have benefitted from Rahul’s good form. In his opinion, Indian selectors must have given another chance to KL to prove his mettle in the longest format. And it would have been easy for KL Rahul also to acclimatize himself to the test cricket as he has been in good form of late.
Zaheer said, “You want to capitalise on a form like this. You have seen it in the past also that players have been drafted in a particular squad based on their form. Why not KL Rahul? After this innings, even the team management, the selectors must be thinking ‘okay, maybe we have been harsh on him. Maybe, we should have just given him the opportunity in Rohit Sharma’s absence.”
However, contrary to Zaheer’s opinion, Indian selectors have gone into the test series with Shaw, Mayank and Shubman Gill as their opening options. The 20-year-old Shaw made his Test debut against West Indies at home in 2018, and was even picked for the tour of Australia, where he suffered an ankle injury during practice. He was also slapped with a backdated suspension last year for a doping violation. But after that he has been good form in the domestics.
Gill is yet to make his Test debut, but has impressed in the A setup for more than a year. The promising Punjab batsman scored 83 and 204* against New Zealand A. Team India will play a 3-match ODI series followed by a two test assignment in this month only.
Team India’s Test squad for New Zealand series:
Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ishant Sharma (subject to fitness clearance).