KL Rahul keeps to Bumrah and Saini as Kohli confirms his role for 1st T20I against New Zealand
India vs New Zealand 1st T20I: Rahul, who is set to be India’s wicket-keeper in the first T20I against New Zealand, was seen keeping wickets with Jasprit Bumrah and Navdeep Saini charging into bowl their yorkers on Thursday.Updated: Jan 24, 2020 09:02 IST
Gone are the days when KL Rahul used to only pad up, pick up the bat and face the Indian bowlers in the nets ahead of an international fixture. Now he pads up, wears the gloves - albeit the bigger one - and also keeps to the likes of Navdeep Saini and Jasprit Bumrah. With the additional responsibility of playing as the keeper, KL Rahul was seen honing his glovework ahead of the first India vs New Zealand T20I at Eden Park, Auckland on Friday.
Rahul, who is set to be India’s wicket-keeper in the first T20I against New Zealand, was seen keeping wickets with Jasprit Bumrah and Navdeep Saini charging into bowl their yorkers on Thursday.
BCCI tweeted the video of the practice session and captioned the post as: “Getting your keeping gloves ready @klrahul11? #TeamIndia #NZvIND”.
Rahul was forced to take the gloves after designated wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant was ruled out with a concussion against Australia. Pant could take the field in the first ODI against Australia after being on the helmet while batting in the first ODI and was subsequently ruled out of the second match. But Rahul’s nifty work behind the stumps coupled with his form with the bat prompted the Indian team management to leave out a fit Rishabh Pant in the 3rd ODI.
India captain Virat Kohli suggested KL Rahul will continue as their wicketkeeper in the Twenty20 series against New Zealand as it offers them the luxury of playing an extra batsman.Skipper Kohli has cleared the air regarding as to who will keep wickets in the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand and said that Rahul’s wicket-keeping skills serve best the balance of the side.
Pant remains part of the limited-overs squads in New Zealand but Rahul is likely to continue behind the wickets again in Friday’s Twenty20 series opener in Auckland.
“As I said, him doing well with the gloves has really opened up a scenario for us where it gives us a lot more balance in playing an extra batsman and if he can keep playing that well, perform well with the bat, then why not,” Kohli told reporters on Thursday.
“I know there will be a lot said about, talks around what happens to other players and what not, but the most important thing is what the team requires and the best balance we can create for the side,” Kohli said.