India vs Australia 1st ODI: Why is KL Rahul keeping wickets instead of Rishabh Pant?
When India came out to defend the total of 255 against Australia in the 1st ODI at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, there was a huge surprise - KL Rahul was standing behind the stumps to keep gloves instead of India’s regular wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. Pant was included in the playing XI for India, and had even came out to bat. But he was still replaced by Rahul for wicketkeeping duties. This decision was taken because Pant was struck on helmet during his dismissal, and he was diagnosed with concussion and has been kept under observation for tests, according to BCCI.
Rahul, who has kept wickets for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, is the only other wicketkeeping option for India in the team, since Sanju Samson was not picked in the squad. Hence, he was appointed to Pant’s keeping duties. Pant was replaced by Manish Pandey on the field.
The left-hander was injured as he tried to pull a Pat Cummins’ bouncer in the 44th over. The ball struck the edge of his bat, and then bounced off his helmet straight to Ashton Turner at backward point.
The umpire took his time in raising his fingers, and Pant, thinking he has been adjudged not out, ran a couple of runs. But eventually, the umpire signalled it out, and Pant did not review and walked back to the hut.
Shikhar Dhawan hit a half-century before Australia pulled things back to bowl India out for 255 in the first ODI of the three-match series on Tuesday. Dhawan looked in great touch during his 91-ball 74 and, in the company of K L Rahul (47), shared a second-wicket stand of 121 runs off 136 balls to set the base for India’s total. However, India failed to capitalise.
Speaking after India’s innings, Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc said: “It’s a good effort. Had you given us 255 at the toss, we would have gladly taken it. They had a couple of good partnerships, but a pretty good effort from the bowlers and very good on the field as well. I just came to know yesterday that it has been 84-85 games between ODIs in India for me.”
“Pat was the senior bowler and he showed it from the start and on most parts our lengths were really great. The spinners were pretty good too. We will still have to bat well. They have quality spinners and quality quicks, but we have put ourselves in a very good position. With the dew coming in, it might skid on a bit more, but we still have to bat really well,” he added.