'Not going to happen': Aakash Chopra believes KL Rahul likely to keep his place despite Indian batsman regaining fitness
- KL Rahul made a strong comeback in India's Test XI scoring 84 and 26 against England in the first Test in Nottingham.
As the second Test between India and England fast approaches, the discussion and anticipation surrounding India's playing XI continue to pick up heat. Be it R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja playing together or Ishant Sharma returning, several cricketers and experts are having a go at naming their best playing XI. Joining the list is Aakash Chopra, who has given his opinion on openers Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul.
Karnataka batsman Rahul returned to the Test side after a gap of nearly two years as Agarwal sat out due to concussion protocols after being hit on the helmet during practice. But Rahul made the most of his opportunity as he registered a well-constructed 84 in the first innings to help India gain lead at Trent Bridge. In the second innings, he was looking good before nicking the ball to the English wicketkeeper for 26.
On Tuesday, Agarwal hit the nets at Lord's, venue for the second Test, which raised doubts whether he would replace Rahul in the XI upon gaining match fitness. When Shubman Gill returned to India, Agarwal was tipped to open with Rohit Sharma. Now that Rahul has hit form from the get-go and Mayank coming in the series on the back of not too many impressive scores, former India batsman Chopra believes Rahul may receive the nod ahead of fellow Karnataka batsman Agarwal.
"Mayank Agarwal is not coming with continuous hundreds behind him. Hypothetically, if Kohli had a concussion and someone else had played in his place, even if he had scored runs, Kohli would have come back. It could be the same thing with Rohit Sharma.
"That is not the case with Mayank. Shubman Gill was the original choice, he played the last Test match in Brisbane in the middle order. I like Mayank a lot, but will he walk into the team straight away? not going to happen," Chopra said in a video on his YouTube channel on Tuesday.
The second Test begins on Thursday, July 12 after the first match ended in a draw. After Day 4, India found themselves in a strong position but rain washed out the final day, leading to the game ending in a draw.