Drop KL Rahul: Former cricketer Wasim Jaffer feels India will not spare flamboyant opener KL Rahul after his stellar performance against Pakistan. Rahul is going through a lean phase after recovering from injury. He failed to score big on the Zimbabwe tours and was then dismissed for a golden duck against Pakistan in the Asia Cup match.
Drop KL Rahul: India next take on Hong Kong in the group stage on Wednesday and they may make some changes in the XI to make room for other players who missed out on the first match.
Jaffer feels that the current Indian team generally supports the players and gives them ample opportunities to showcase their talent. Whereas Jaffer feels that being Rahul’s senior player, he will not face the ax after one or two matches.
“The way this team works, we have been seeing for the last one year that the Indian team gives ample opportunities to every player. I personally don’t think we will see any change. You will support the team that you played against the bigger team. I don’t think one or two failures will leave KL Rahul or make any changes, unless there is an injury problem,” Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo.
Rahul had a tough time in the last few months as he missed cricket due to injuries. Rahul last played competitive cricket in IPL 2022, suffering a right groin injury before the South Africa T20I, flew to Germany and underwent a sports hernia surgery. He was expected to return to the West Indies, but got infected with COVID-19 and was ruled out.
Drop KL Rahul: Jaffer also feels that pacer Avesh Khan will also retain his place as the surface has pace and bounce which will strengthen his case.
Jaffer said, “The wicket has momentum and bounce, so maybe Avesh will also retain his place, although I do feel a little tempted to play Ravi Bishnoi.”
The former opener further pointed to the Hong Kong players who are going to pose a threat to India in Wednesday’s clash.
“A lot will be riding on the shoulders of these three. Nizakat Khan scored 92 against India last time too, Yasim Mortaza is in very good form, was the highest run scorer in the qualifiers and Babar Hayat is a very good player.
A lot will depend on how he bats in the Hong Kong innings. If India gets him out early, his chances of winning will be very high.”