The BCCI on Tuesday announced that injured KL Rahul will join the team for the second Test match against England. The sports body said that Rahul has fully recovered from his hamstring injury and would be joining the squad. This could be a good news for the Indian team but not for opener Gautam Gambhir. Coach Anil Kumble confirmed that he wanted KL Rahul in the final line-up.
“I think there is still two days left. Rahul is certainly available for selection and you would want Rahul to be in starting line-up and that’s the reason he has been included,” Kumble was quoted by an agency.
Coach Anil Kumble had wanted the injured Indian players to prove their form in domestic circuit before joining the national side. KL Rahul exactly did that. In a Ranji Tophy match, he scored 76 runs and a century in the second innings. He has been rewarded for his performance.
“He (Rahul) had an (hamstring) injury in Kanpur. He was not available for Test and ODIs against New Zealand. Now he has recovered and as a protocol, he played a Ranji Trophy game. Today he scored a hundred (106) and in the first innings he scored 70 plus (76 off 85 balls). Since match is happening close to Vizag (at Vizaianagaram), it’s good to have him in the squad and he is available for selection,” Kumble added.
Gambhir, who had come in the side replacing KL Rahul, had not been handed a long rope. It was expected that when Rahul recovers, Gambhir would be sent out of the team. Gambhir got to play the third Test match against New Zealand, where he hit a half-century. Gambhir couldn’t perform in the first Test match against England. He scored 29 runs in the first innings and a duck in the second innings. After KL Rahul’s inclusion in the team, Gautam Gambhir can be gone for good. And it should be the right thing for the team. KL Rahul is only 24 years old and is proving himself constantly for the past few years. His being in the team will be more beneficial than Gautam Gambhir, who is 35.