The Ajit Agarkar-led BCCI selection committee will have plenty of questions when it sits down on Monday morning to pick its Asia Cup squad, apart from picking a provisional squad for the ODI World Cup. Although, the announcement regarding the ICC event will only be a provisional selection, with the deadline for the provisional squad being September 5, it will hint at or probably solve a few of India’s selection headaches. One of them was for the wicketkeeping slot with Ishan Kishan and the recovery of KL Rahul being the options, between Sanju Samson as back-up. And ahead of the selection meeting in New Delhi, former BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly gave his verdict in a blunt message to coach Rahul Dravid.
India’s pick for the spot, in the absence of Rishabh Pant, who is on the sidelines after his tragic car accident in December last year, is Kishan, Rahul and Samson. The southpaw has been a regular in the ODI set-up since February 2022, appearing in 15 matches where he scored 634 runs at 48.76 with a record double century and five fifties. What adds to his potential is the versatility to offer the Indian batting line-up apart from being left-handed. In six of those 14 innings, he opened for India and batted at No. 3 and No. 4 for eight times. However, he only appeared as a goalkeeper six times in those 15 matches.
Rahul has been India’s main option in Pant’s absence, having featured as an all-rounder in nine innings between December 2022 and March 2023, where he scored 321 runs at 45.83 with three fifties. However, a hamstring injury during the IPL saw him miss the West Indies tour and his fitness for the Asia Cup remains a concern.
Speaking at a recent event, Ganguly revealed that he would pick Kishan as his wicketkeeping option purely on the basis of his explosive batting.
“Pants is the best wicketkeeper in the country, but you can see Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul (depending on his fitness). Those two will be on Rohit and Rahul’s mind. I like Ishan Kishan because just opens the game for I’m sure Dravid will keep him in his plans,” Ganguly said.
Earlier, former India coach Ravi Shastri, in a chat with Star Sports, also backed Kishan for a role in the Asia Cup squad, explaining that Rahul should not be allowed in the squad for such a big tournament after from a major injury. away from.
“See when you talk about a player (KL Rahul) who hasn’t played and is recovering from an injury. To consider him in the Asia Cup squad, you’re asking a bit too much of the player himself. And then When a guy comes off an injury, range of motion and things like that, so that’s a no,” Shastri had said.
It has been reported that Rahul is likely to undergo a practice match today at the NCA along with Shreyas Iyer, which will ultimately decide the duo’s fate for the Asia Cup and the World Cup.
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