5 backup openers India should consider for ODIs
India were knocked out of the 2019 World Cup by New Zealand in the semi-final. India was reduced to 5/3 chasing a modest score of 240. While the deliveries to dismiss Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were outstanding, the ball to dismiss KL Rahul was just a normal delivery. Hence, he drew a lot of flak for the way he was dismissed at a time when India needed him the most.
His ability to negotiate swing bowling and temperament against the stronger oppositions has come under the scanner. He failed to score runs against the SENA oppositions and could only manage scores of 26, 11*, 0 and 1 against them. Even in the warm-up game against New Zealand, he struggled to get going and was dismissed for a single digit score.
Although he is considered to be an aggressive batsman, his strike rate of 75 will also raise concerns for the team management. Even in the IPL, he had a fairly sub-par strike rate during his first 20-25 balls.
With KL Rahul failing to deliver against big teams, India would look to consider a few other players as backup options and here's a look at 5 players.
#5 Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad is still an unknown commodity and is a left-field choice considering the other players on the list. He is only 22 years of age and isn't a fully developed player. However, he has shown that he has the talent and has been impressive for India 'A'. He scored 470 runs in 4 innings against Sri Lanka 'A' at a strike rate of 129.83.
The right-handed batsman has scored 1936 runs in 36 innings at a strike rate of 100.93 and has a superb average of 56.97. He has also been impressive for Maharashtra in the domestic circuit over the last 2 years and has plundered runs across all formats. He scored 365 runs in 8 innings at an average of 45.62 and had a strike rate of 90.12.
An aggressive batsman, he could establish himself as a key player for India in the future and will definitely get a chance with CSK as an opener after Ambati Rayudu's retirement.