How Rinku Singh and KL Rahul can still make it to India's T20 World Cup squad | Crickit
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How Rinku Singh and KL Rahul can still make it to India's T20 World Cup squad

May 01, 2024 03:06 PM IST

The left out duo of Rinku Singh and KL Rahul still have hope as the final date for boards to make changes to their T20 World Cup squads is May 25.

The Indian squad announced for the T20 World Cup was pretty much on expected lines. Yuzvendra Chahal earned a recall to the national side for the first time since August last year, while Sanju Samson was one of the two wicketkeepers picked. However, the omission of one name that left many disgruntled was that of Rinku Singh. Part of India's T20I set-up since June 2023, the explosive left-handed batter was relegated to the reserves.

Rinku Singh (L) and KL Rahul still have an outside chance to make it to India's T20 World Cup squad(PTI-AP)
Rinku Singh (L) and KL Rahul still have an outside chance to make it to India's T20 World Cup squad(PTI-AP)

A skilled finisher with the ability to hit big shots at will, Rinku did nothing wrong in the opportunities received for India. He has an average of 89 and a strike-rate reading of 176.2, and yet, he fell behind in the pecking order to Shivam Dube, who cashed in on his chances with Chennai Super Kings and put on quite the show.

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However, all is not over for Rinku yet. The explosive batter still has a chance to make it to the final squad of 15. Although today, May 1, is the deadline for all boards to reveal their Playing XI, the final date to make changes in the squad is May 25. Hence, if for some reason, a player gets injured or pulls out for unknown reasons, Rinku can get promoted to the main squad. The same applies to KL Rahul, another notable absentee from the list. Furthermore, that Rinku was dropped and the management chose four spinners in the form of Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja is a decision that raised a few eyebrows.

An example from not so long ago

Something similar had happened ahead of the ODI World Cup last year when Ravichandran Ashwin was drafted in as a replacement for Axar Patel. The all-rounder was picked in India's initial squad of 15, but when Axar failed to recover in time from the quadriceps strain he endured during the Asia Cup, Ashwin took his place. The veteran India spinner picked up four wickets from two ODIs in the home series against Australia, enough to convince the selectors. Having said that, Ashwin played just one game in the World Cup – India's tournament opener against Australia – where he took 1/34.

Team India and its players are no strangers to injuries. Since Rohit Sharma took over, the number of players who have been injured is alarmingly high. Jasprit Bumrah was out for over a year due to a stress fracture in the back, while Ravindra Jadeja had to miss the 2022 T20 World Cup due to an injured shoulder. Moreover, Shreyas Iyer's recurring back issues have caused selectors some massive headaches, as has Suryakumar Yadav, who hasn't played an international match for India since January. First, an ankle injury, followed by a sports hernia that required SKY to undergo surgery, Surya is back playing the IPL for Mumbai Indians and appears in great nick.

So, Rinku and Rahul fans… do not lose hope. Anything can happen with a good 26 days remaining in the IPL 2024. A board carries reserve players to high-profile tournaments to ensure strong backup if something goes wrong.

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