KL Rahul batting during the Indore ODI. (Pic: AP)

“KL Rahul should be rested” - Harbhajan Singh picks his preferred playing XI for IND vs AUS 3rd ODI

Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh wants KL Rahul to be rested for the third and final ODI of the series against Australia. The match which will be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Wednesday, September 27.

Rahul led the Men in Blue in the first two matches of the series. He was impressive as captain as well as with the willow as the hosts claimed an unassailable 2-0 lead. The 31-year-old scored an unbeaten 58 in the first game in Mohali and followed it up with 52 in Indore.


Skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav will be back for the final ODI, while Shubman Gill and Shardul Thakur will reportedly be rested. While picking his preferred playing XI for the third ODI, Harbhajan commented [2:05] on his YouTube channel:

“I feel Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan will open, while Virat Kohli will come in at No. 3. Shreyas Iyer scored a brilliant hundred [in the last match]. When a player has one or two bad games, the whole world is after him. He is a wonderful player, support him. He is [in] the World Cup [squad] and has just returned from injury.
“Rather than supporting our own player, we run behind wanting results too soon. I feel he will bat at No. 4.
“KL Rahul has played two matches and played well in both. As captain, he won both games. I feel he should be rested. Suryakumar Yadav should bat at No. 5 and Hardik Pandya at No. 6. Ravindra Jadeja should bat at No. 7, while Kuldeep Yadav should be No. 8, Mohammed Shami No. 9, then Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.”

Harbhajan Singh’s preferred playing XI for 3rd ODI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.

“I really liked the intent of the team” - Harbhajan Singh praises KL Rahul-led Team India

While discussing India’s performance in the series so far, Harbhajan hailed the Rahul-led side for showing great intent despite the absence of key players. He even compared the team to England’s World Cup-winning squad and backed the side to carry on the momentum and complete a clean sweep.

“India are 2-0 up against an Australian team that has big names like Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood. If we look at the Indian team, we were without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav. Still, we have managed to take a 2-0 lead.
“I really liked the intent of the team. This is how one-day cricket is played. When England won the World Cup, they showed intent.
“This young Indian team has played excellent cricket and has adopted a similar style to England. They have won two games, now Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will play the last match and Kuldeep as well.
“KL Rahul has been very good as captain and I hope that India win the third ODI as well under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy. I feel India will win the match and clean sweep the series 3-0.”

Following the conclusion of the ODI series, India will meet Australia in their first World Cup match in Chennai on October 8.

Edited by
Renin Wilben Albert
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