24-year-old Karnataka batsman KL Rahul has earned a recall to the Indian side, as the 16th member of the squad for the second Test against England set to get underway on the 17th of November at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Vizag.
He suffered an untimely hamstring injury in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur, just as he was beginning to earn a permanent spot in the Test squad alongside Murali Vijay. During the Test, he looked in sparkling form as he added a couple of quickfire 30s at the top of the order, complimenting Murali Vijay perfectly.
His injury, along with a thumb injury to Shikhar Dhawan opened the doors for a recall for Gautam Gambhir after more than two years out of the Test squad. While Gautam Gambhir did an admirable job in the 3rd Test against New Zealand, where he followed up a gritty 29 with a half-century, he was found wanting against England.
While Gambhir was trapped right in front in the first innings, where he was found leaning across while trying to flick a ball on to the leg-side, he didn’t even trouble the scorers in the second innings of the game as he got out for 0.
As is the mandate nowadays, players are required to prove their fitness at the first-class level before being deemed eligible for an international recall. In his comeback game for Karnataka, KL Rahul showed absolutely no signs of rust.
Having undergone a full recovery at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, he was more than happy to be joining his Karnataka teammates for their match against Rajasthan. On his first innings back, he scored a brisk 76, showing the world he hadn’t skipped a beat during his injury. But his performance in the second innings was what caught the eye. 106 in 131 balls with 13 fours and four sixes was enough to convince the selectors that he was fit enough for a recall.
Less than two years after his international debut, KL Rahul has seen both his reputation and popularity shoot through the roof after a string of impressive performances for the Indian side across the three formats, and an incredible season with the RCB.
He made his name as an orthodox Test batsman with the ability to remain solid at the top but has recently shown the ability to score runs quickly as well. In his 9 Tests so far, he has already amassed 3 Test centuries and also has a century in each of the other formats.
He will be a welcome addition to the squad.