'When you have selected KL Rahul': Ashwin poses 'million-dollar question' for selectors after WC squad announcement
R Ashwin has asked a 'million-dollar question' for selectors after KL Rahul was named in India's squad for the World Cup.
Even though KL Rahul failed to turn up for India in the group stages of the Asia Cup 2023, the versatile batter was named in India's squad for the World Cup. Rahul had picked up a niggle which was not related to his thigh injury in the lead-up to the Asia Cup. The star batter missed India's group games against Pakistan and Nepal. In his absence, wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan strengthened his selection case with a blazing knock against Pakistan at the Asia Cup.
On Tuesday, both Rahul and Kishan were picked as the two wicketkeeper-batters in India's 15-member squad for the ICC World Cup. Gloveman Sanju Samson, who is in Sri Lanka as Rahul's backup, was not named in Team India's squad for the 50-over World Cup. Reflecting on the squad announcement of the Men In Blue, veteran all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin defended Rahul's selection in the 15-member roster for the ICC event.
‘When you have selected KL Rahul knowing that…’
"When you have selected KL Rahul knowing that he is an important player, then he should be given a fair run. How will the team give him that is the million-dollar question. If he is in the playing XI, then people should not say that there is too much chopping and changing," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
The senior spinner also hailed Kishan for his exceptional performances in the lead-up to the showpiece event. Ashwin also pointed out that Kishan is a 'two-in-one player' as the youngster can be considered a backup wicketkeeper and opening batter in the Indian squad at the World Cup. Versatile Kishan walked out to bat as India's No.5 batter in its Asia Cup opener against Pakistan at Pallekele. The Indian batter played a stroke-filled knock of 82 off 81 balls in the rain-marred contest between the traditional rivals.
'Kishan has succeeded at No. 5'
"This is not a competition between Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson, because Kishan fills so many roles. When you pick a 15-member squad, you need to pick a backup wicket-keeper. Even when we pick a Ranji Trophy squad, we pick two wicket-keepers. So, Ishan Kishan is also a back-up opener along with being a back-up wicket-keeper, he is two-in-one player. Now that Ishan Kishan has succeeded at No. 5, it gives India two left-handers in the middle order. Everyone was going gaga over left-handers and they were saying Ishan Kishan cannot bat at No.5, but he has delivered now," Ashwin explained.