The Indian team has been keeping an eye out for backups of their main players and this has led them to find out some surprises. In the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, which India won 2-1 despite losing the first match by 10 wickets, the home team was left in a predicament in the second match, when keeper Rishabh Pant was hit on the helmet by Pat Cummins and was ruled out of the series with a concussion.
This led to KL Rahul keeping wickets in that match and though KS Bharat was called upon as the backup option for Pant, Indian team management continued to persist with Rahul behind the stumps and this opened up a spot in the playing XI for an extra bowler/batsman. India was also missing opener Shikhar Dhawan, who hurt his shoulder in the series decider. However, with Rahul performing both roles in the third ODI, impressed the captain and coach enough.
Ravi Shastri is impressed by KL Rahul performing dual duties
Indian head coach Ravi Shastri and Kohli were both mightily impressed by KL Rahul performing dual duties of keeping wickets and opening the innings as well, so much that Kohli mentioned that he will continue performing the duty behind the stumps against New Zealand in T20Is as well. Meanwhile, Shastri was quoted as saying by timesnownews.com that “We love options.”
He also opined on the unfortunate slew of injuries that has plagued 34-year-old Shikhar Dhawan. The opener had first fractured his thumb during the 2019 World Cup, then suffered a deep injury on his knee during a domestic T20 match, missing out on T20I series against Bangladesh and limited-overs series against West Indies. Now he has hurt his shoulder that has ruled him out of the New Zealand T20I series as well. “Very sad because he (Dhawan) is a senior player. He is a match-winner. When someone suffers an injury of that sort, everyone is hurt in the team,” added the 57-year-old.
Meanwhile, the former India captain and now coach, Shastri also gave his two cents on India’s drought of ICC trophies since 2013 Champions Trophy. However, he remains focused on the task at hand against the Black Caps and mentioned, “That toss will be taken out of the equation, we will play well irrespective of conditions, of opponents and in every country of the world. That’s what our aim is and that is what we are chasing. Yes, the World Cup remains an obsession and we will do all to fulfil that ambition.”
Freehit: 20 Questions with Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- India vs England: Virat Kohli confirms Team India’s openers for the first T20I
- India move to second spot in the latest ICC T20I team rankings
- Satire: 10 Indian cricketers and their secret social media passwords
- Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan picks his T20I XI of the year 2020
- CricTracker Exclusive: No one should complain about the five-star prisons, says Irfan Pathan on bio-bubble fatigue