Struggling opening batter KL Rahul has retained his place in the Indian team for the third and fourth Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 against Australia. Interestingly, he has not been named the vice-captain.
Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat, who was released from the squad for the second Test so that he could play in the Ranji Trophy final, also makes a return for the last two games against the Aussies.
Unadkat was the Player of the Match in the Ranji Trophy final against Bengal. He claimed nine wickets as Saurashtra won the premier domestic competition for the second time.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the Indian squad for the remaining Test matches on Sunday (February 19) following the hosts’ six-wicket triumph over the Aussies in Delhi in the second Test.
As reported earlier, lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah has not been included in the squad for the remaining Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023. That's because he continues to recuperate from the back injury that has kept him out of international cricket since September last year.
The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 will be played in Indore from March 1 to 5. The final match of the series will be held in Ahmedabad from March 9 to 13.
India’s Test squad for third and fourth Test against Australia: Rohit Sharma (Captain), K L Rahul, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat
“I believe he has the quality and class to come out of this” - Team India coach backs KL Rahul
While some former Indian players like Venkatesh Prasad have called for Rahul’s sacking, Team India coach Rahul Dravid has backed the struggling opener. He asserted that the team management has faith in his talent and quality.
Speaking to the host broadcaster after India’s six-wicket win over Australia in Delhi, Dravid said:
“I think he needs to trust his processes. This is just a phase; he has been one of our most successful overseas openers. He’s got hundreds in South Africa and England; we’ll continue to back him."
“I believe he has the quality and class to come out of this. It is great working with this unit; managing formats is the most difficult part. But there’s not a lot of technical coaching, just simple conversations and challenging them, and giving them a pat on the back when they do well.”
Rahul has registered scores of 20, 17 and one in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.