Former India coach Ravi Shastri has named KL Rahul as the wicket-keeper batsman for the World Test Championship (WTC) final to be held at The Oval in June. Shastri backed Rahul to cement his place in the team and said his presence would strengthen the team’s batting line-up. Rahul has a decent record in England but poor form saw him dropped from the playing XI after the first two Tests against Australia at home.
The 30-year-old Karnataka player, however, made a spectacular comeback with a match-winning knock of 75 not out in the first ODI against Australia on Friday night. Shastri feels that Rahul can play as a wicket-keeper batsman in the WTC final as KS Bharat could not perform well in the absence of Rishabh Pant.
“He (KL) has done really well which will keep the selectors interested in him ahead of the WTC final,” Shastri told ‘Star Sports’. He said, ‘There are two things. When Rohit Sharma returns for the first ODI series and for the second WTC final, in which if Rahul does wicket-keeper, his batting will be strong.
Shastri said, ‘Rahul can bat in the middle order (number five and six). In England, you usually have to do wicketkeeping from a little behind. You don’t have to put a lot of spinners. He (KL) has two more ODIs before the IPL. He can confirm his place in that Indian team with a good performance in these.
Rahul has scored 614 runs in nine Tests in England with two centuries and one half-century. India has qualified for the WTC final to be held in June in which the team will face Australia. This will be India’s second WTC final. India was defeated by New Zealand in the 2021 final.
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