Opinion: Why KL Rahul should be dropped from the Indian Test Team
The Indian team made history after winning the first Test match at Adelaide, defeating Australia by 31 runs. As India is looking forward to clinching their first Test series win in Australia, there is something that worries the team and the fans alike – the openers.
Prithvi Shaw has been ruled out for the series owing to an injury he picked up during the practice match. In his absence, the struggling duo of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay were summoned to open the innings for India at Adelaide and Perth.
On the fourth day of the second Test match at Perth, Australia have set India a target of 287. In reply, India are currently tottering at 112/5 with Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant at the crease.
KL Rahul was dismissed for a duck by Mitchell Starc and Vijay managed to score just 20 runs. In the two innings of the match, the Indian openers have managed to contribute just 22 runs (Rahul – 2, 0 and Vijay – 0, 20).
There is no point in highlighting the inability of the Indian tailenders to contribute with the bat when their openers have struggled to build a healthy partnership. Both Vijay and Rahul seem to be lacking confidence – they hardly judge the deliveries from the Aussie pacers and have struggled throughout the series.
At Adelaide, though Rahul came back strongly in the second innings, he scored a total of just 46 runs. There is no denying the talent and potential in this young player – he has the ability to play the unorthodox shots with ease. He is also a very good hitter of the ball and can prove to be a deadly batsman. But the player no longer seems to be confident with his shots and is not at his best level at present.
Since this is India’s best bet to win a Test series in Australia, it is high time for the Indian selectors to sideline Rahul for some time as it will eventually help the player build his confidence and potential.
As far as his recent performances are concerned, Rahul has been clean bowled out 6 times out of his last 9 dismissals in Test matches which clearly proves that he has failed as an opener and as a batsman for the Indian Team.
His scores in last 18 Test innings (including both his innings in the second Test match at Perth) read as 54, 4, 13, 8, 10, 23, 36, 19, 0, 37, 149, 0, 4, 33*, 2, 44, 2, 0 – a majority of which he was bowled and caught before the wicket.
With players like Mayank Agarwal breathing down his neck, Rahul’s Test career is on the line. Fans wonder how he still manages to earn a sweet spot in the Test squad even after delivering inconsistent performances.
Having been given these many opportunities, it would come as a surprise if he still manages to find a spot in the third Test match scheduled to start from December 26th at Melbourne.