KL Rahul replacement: The Indian opening batsman has been struggling to get going in Test matches in the recent times.
There is no hiding to the fact that India opening batsman Lokesh Rahul has been receiving the backing of the team management in Test matches for a long time now. Despite returning with below par numbers, Rahul has been repeatedly trusted with facing the new ball.
In 17 Tests since November 2017, Rahul has scored 664 runs at an average of 22.89 and a strike rate of 54.92 including one century and two half-centuries. It was due to this unsuccessful spree that him getting named for the tour of West Indies was questionable.
In two Tests against West Indies last month, Rahul scored 101 runs at an average of 25.25 and a strike rate of 37.26. Having missed another golden opportunity to be among the runs, there have been many calls demanding his exclusion from the test team.
KL Rahul replacement
Having scored three half-centuries in four Tests so far, Mayank Agarwal deserves more chances at the highest level. With Prithvi Shaw undergoing a ban term, Indian selectors would be looking for a new batsman to open the innings in Tests.
In 27 Tests which India limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma has played, he has scored 1,585 runs at an average of 39.62 and a strike rate of 55.01 including three centuries and 10 half-centuries. Sharma’s start-stop Test career finds him in the team but not in the Playing XI.
India captain Virat Kohli didn’t shy away from explaining why Hanuma Vihari was picked ahead of Sharma during the tour of West Indies. In what seems to be a legitimate reason, the only position where Kohli can fit Sharma is at the top of the order.
In a recent interview with India Today, India chief selector MSK Prasad has also hinted at discussing the prospects of Rohit Sharma opening in Tests. It is true that Sharma hasn’t ever opened in Tests but the same was the case when he was made an opener in limited-over format. Citing his transformation and experience as an opener in ODIs and T20Is, the move has it in it to benefit the Indian test team.