Kohli Drops Rahul, Calls It 'Tactical Move'; Karthik Makes ODI Comeback. Right Move?

KL Rahul sits out during India vs England decider despite getting a hundred on the tour

Indian skipper Virat Kohli decided to drop KL Rahul to make way for Dinesh Karthik in the third ODI at Headingley, Leeds. Karthik finally got a spot in the playing XI after his last-ball six heroics in Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh. Whereas Suresh Raina has been given another chance in the playing XI despite criticism.

Kohli labelled dropping ‘Rahul’ as a ‘tactical move. Whereas in a pre-match press conference, India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar justified the selection of Raina over Karthik. Bangar said, “The plan was to have a left-hander batting in the middle-order. And that is the reason why Suresh was picked ahead of Dinesh”.

The decision did not go down well with Twitterati as they expressed their disappointment —

Opener Shikhar Dhawan has not been playing in the best of forms on the England tour. Dhawan scored just 19 runs in three T20Is and struggled to convert good starts in the ODIs. Rahul got out for a duck in the Lord’s ODI and he was ousted from the playing XI. But the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) opener scored a scintillating hundred in the T20Is which is hard to ignore after one bad performance.

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Even Gautam Gambhir opined that Karthik should play ahead of Raina if India was looking for a balanced batsman. If the southpaw fails to score in the decider, he is bound to face flak from the fans.