‘It might seem unfair at the time, like it felt to me in 2007’: Aakash Chopra explains why KL Rahul deserves a chance in Test squad
KL Rahul has been in the news following his batting prowess in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League. With 641 runs under his belt, Rahul is currently the leading run scorer of the tournament. His sublime form led him back to the Indian test squad which the BCCI announced on Monday evening for the upcoming Australia tour.
Rahul’s excellence in the white-ball cricket promoted him as the deputy to Virat Kohli in the limited-overs series as well. Since, an injured Rohit Sharma missed a spot across formats, selectors showed faith on the Karnataka batsman.
This decision led to mixed reactions from the experts of the game. While many weren’t in favour of Rahul’s return into the Test setup, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra believes that there is no harm in ‘getting him back in whites’.
In his article for espncricinfo, Chopra wrote, “Rahul is the kind of player who demands a bit more investment. His technical game is intact even when he is scoring at a rate of knots in the shortest format. His game has no obvious flaws that might make him susceptible to the trials of Test match cricket.”
“Whether he will make it big in Test cricket or not, we will find out in good time, but there is merit in getting him back in whites. Players with his quality of skills and talent will get more opportunities than the rest, and while it might seem unfair at the time, like it felt to me in 2007, it might be the right decision for Indian cricket,” he further wrote.
Aakash Chopra also threw light on Rahul’s journey back to the test side. He also explained why the Indian selection committee – led by Sunil Joshi – went with Rahul when they had an option in Shikhar Dhawan as well.
“In the ideal world, Sharma, Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw would be the first-choice openers and Shubman Gill would have been in the squad as back-up. With Sharma’s injury and the lack of clarity about how well or not he is recovering, the selectors had to pick another opener in the side. If it was only about IPL numbers, they would have toyed with the idea of reinstating Shikhar Dhawan too,” Chopra wrote in his article.
KL Rahul is now the only Indian batsman to score 500-plus runs in three consecutive IPL seasons. He has represented India in 36 Test matches, scoring 2006 runs with five centuries.