Opinion: Why KL Rahul deserves one last chance for the final Test match at Sydney?
The Border-Gavaskar series is nicely poised as India and Australia are heading into the final Test with the visiting side leading by a 2-1 margin. India needs a win or a draw in the Sydney Test to win their first ever Test series in Australia.
The Indian Team was balanced and looked well settled during the Boxing Day Test match as they comprehensively beat Australia in all the departments.
India will be forced to make a change in their playing XI because of Rohit Sharma's absence. The Mumbai batsman will miss the match as he is heading home to welcome a baby girl into his life, leaving a gap at the number six position in the batting line up. India will be contemplating on a few options like Rahul, Ashwin, Hardik to replace the right-handed batsman.
Rahul will fit into India's scheme of things as Vihari failed as an opener in both the innings of the Melbourne Test despite showing some promise and stability. Vihari would love to move back to the No.6 spot which he vacated for Rohit Sharma. Also, there is no other middle-order batsman available for India to lead the tailenders.
This decision will create a vacancy in the opening position. KL Rahul should get the nod because of the upcoming reasons.
Firstly, Rahul started the tour of a positive note as he slammed a quick-fire fifty at SCG during the tour game against the Cricket Australia XI. Also, the right-handed batsman scored a brilliant hundred at SCG when India last toured Australia in 2014-15 series. Sometimes a player always fancies getting a good score on a particular ground.
Secondly, the Karnataka batsman still maintains a healthy average of 35.77 despite struggling off-late. After the initial struggles in England, he scored a brilliant century in the final game. He may continue the same Down Under.
Also, Rahul's slip catching has been really good on away tours and will come in handy during the Test match at SCG.
Considering his recent poor form, this would also mean a final opportunity for him as far as the Test cricket is concerned. The opening batsman should grab this opportunity especially since Prithvi Shaw will be back after his injury setback. If Rahul does not grab this opportunity, it could mean a long time away for him from the Test squad.