“They need a technically sound batter at No. 5” – Saba Karim explains why KL Rahul should bat in middle-order
Saba Karim wants KL Rahul to bat at No. 5 in the absence of the injured Shreyas Iyer during the Border Gavaskar Trophy, which starts in Nagpur on Thursday, February 9.
The former India selector reckons the right-hander is technically sound and possesses the much-needed experience to bat in the middle order. The veteran feels that the 30-year-old can easily overcome the challenges of playing spin and pace to provide stability to the batting unit.
Karim further wants Gill to stick to the opening slot owing to his sublime form across formats. After his century in the first Test against Bangladesh in December, Gill also hit a double ton and two centuries in ODIs. The 23-year-old also slammed his maiden T20I century against New Zealand in the recently concluded series.
Speaking on India News, Karim said:
“Shubman Gill should open because KL Rahul can come down at No.5. It will strengthen our batting. He’ll also get time to prepare himself. They need a technically sound batter at No.5, i.e., when the ball gets older. You need the experience to face cutters and spinners.”
The former Indian cricketer stressed that the Border-Gavaskar Trophy could decide vice-captain KL Rahul’s future in red-ball cricket. Karim wants him to play a few match-winning innings as India look to win their fifth Test series in a row against Australia at home.
“It’s a vital series for KL Rahul," he said. "It could prove to be the turning point of his career. KL Rahul is an accomplished player, technically sound, but he manages only one or two good scores. Besides this, there’s a string of low scores. A big player is known for his consistency. KL Rahul should play at least 2-3 match-winning innings for his team, which we haven’t witnessed so far.”
The statement came as Rahul returned with 57 runs in the last two-Test series in Bangladesh in December last year.
“It’s a big test for him both as captain and batter” – Saba Karim on Rohit Sharma
Saba Karim further explained the significance of Indian captain Rohit Sharma in the Border Gavaskar Trophy. He wants him to play memorable knocks as the hosts look to dominate Australia once again at home.
It’s worth mentioning that the Aussies last won a Test series in India in 2004/05. The cricketer-turned-commentator said:
“I am expecting Rohit Sharma to deliver. It’s a big test for him both as captain and batter. A captain’s role is very critical during the Australia series. He’ll be remembered for a long time if he shows form.”
So far, Rohit has scored 408 runs in seven Tests against Australia, including three half-centuries.
India’s squad for the first two Tests: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, and Suryakumar Yadav.
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