Asia Cup 2018: 3 reasons why KL Rahul Should replace Dinesh Karthik in the playing XI
KL Rahul is one of the most attractive and stylish Indian batsmen, in the present era. He has the unique ability of playing both patient and attacking cricket, depending upon the situation. As a result of this, he is one of those few players, who represents India in all the three formats of the game, viz. Tests, ODIs and T20s. He is also one of the biggest matchwinners in IPL, for his franchise. His talent and matchwinning capability are beyond question.
But one big problem that Rahul faces, is his inconsistency. He has been inconsistent in both Test matches and ODIs. As a result of this, he has been in and out of the team.
In ODIs, Rahul has lost his opener's slot in the team, to Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, who have been much more consistent than Rahul.
Then the team management tried to fit him in the middle order. But there also Rahul failed to perform and hence lost his spot in the playing XI.
However, after his world-class hundred in the final Test match versus England, many people thought that he might get another chance to establish himself in the Indian middle order, in the Asia Cup.
However, the team management has preferred to go with Dinesh Karthik in the number four batting slot, instead of KL Rahul in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018.
Dinesh Karthik's ODI record as a wicket-keeper batsman is fine, but as a specialist batsman, it is quite ordinary.
In this article, we discuss the 3 main reasons for which KL Rahul, inspite of his inconsistency, should be played, ahead of Dinesh Karthik, in the ODIs.
#1 Match Winning Capability
Although KL Rahul is inconsistent, he is a big match-winner in all forms of cricket. When he scores runs, he usually demolishes the opposition bowlers. In IPL and T20 internationals, he has shown that he can be consistent and responsible also. So if he is given a run for 10-15 ODI matches in a row, then he might be able to settle down as a middle-order batsman for India, and produce match-winning performances, in the years to come.
Dinesh Karthik, on the other hand, is not even close to Rahul, in his match-winning capabilities, especially against better teams. He is a steady batsman, who can produce important supporting innings in the middle order. But Karthik does not seem like a long-term solution for the fragile Indian middle order in ODIs.
#2 Hitting ability and the ability to play the new ball
Off late, the two biggest problems for the Indian middle order have been:
a) Inability to score quick runs in the death overs and while chasing big totals.
b) Inability to handle the new ball, when the top order gets out cheaply.
Rahul can be the ideal solution for both these problems. His experience as a regular Test match opener, makes him the ideal person to come out and bat, when the top three falls cheaply.
Rahul's ability to hit both pacers and spinners for big sixes and boundaries all around the ground makes him the ideal choice for scoring quick runs in the final overs too.
Dinesh Karthik also has the ability to score quickly, but when required to bat in the early overs of an ODI, he often looks like a misfit.
#3 Age Factor
KL Rahul is just 26 years old and has a long career ahead of him. On the other hand, Dinesh Karthik has been playing for over a decade now and is already 33 years old. With the great Indian middle order batsmen like Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, nearing the end of their respective careers, India requires a person who will fill in their big shoes, and be a long-term solution for the Indian middle order in ODIs. And KL Rahul seems like the ideal choice if he is able to perform according to his potential.