K.L. Rahul’s surprise inclusion in World Cup squad raises questions: What to expect

The inclusion of K.L. Rahul and Shardul Thakur in India’s ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 squad, despite concerns over form and fitness, sparks debate. How will these selections affect India’s World Cup campaign?

Many people are perplexed by the senior national selection committee’s and the Indian team management’s selection of K.L. Rahul for the 15-person squad for the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 despite the fact that he hasn’t played any competitive cricket since May of this year.

The administration of the Indian squad has been testing many choices for various positions for several months, but it appears that it has decided to proceed with a player who has just returned from a lengthy break and has only recently recovered from a niggle.

After being given the all-clear by the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru on September 4 for the Super Four phases of the Asia Cup, Rahul is currently getting ready to depart for Sri Lanka.


After tearing his right thigh tendon and becoming injured during the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rahul played his final ODI match in March of this year during an Australia tour of India. He underwent surgery in May, and the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru served as his rehabilitation facility.

Announcing the squad, Ajit Agarkar also gave an update on Rahul’s fitness and stated, “KL is looking good. We feel this gives us the best balance to try and do well. With KL, he was part of the camp in Bengaluru, he looked really good there and has gotten over his niggle. He played a couple of games over the last two days. I think he kept for 50 overs and batted for around 50 overs too, so he looks good and we’re happy to have him.”

Rahul struggled against spin in his most recent ODI series against Australia and hardly seemed in form. In the series, Australian spinner Adam Zampa struck him out twice. In the final two games, Rahul scored 32 and 9, totaling 116 runs for the series.

India has had trouble finding the ideal No. 4 hitter, thus Rahul’s selection still appears to be a gamble on the part of the selector. Rahul’s name is marked with an asterisk; only time will tell how effective he can be as a wicketkeeper-batter given his past performance and injury recovery.

Ishan Kishan has shown promise in recent ODI games, and his last inning against Pakistan in the Asia Cup has undoubtedly made Rahul’s status in contention.

Rahul was chosen for the Asia Cup but was unable to play in the opening two games because of a new ailment.

Shardul Thakur’s participation in the squad is the other unexpected choice. Although it appears that he was chosen to give the club batting depth, the team continues to have issues with his bowling. Shardul bowled four overs for 26 runs and one wicket in the previous game. India barely appeared to be in control of the game when playing against Nepal, who was making their international debut. It was Nepal’s mistakes that forced India to force them out for a low total.

The attack appears a little suspicious with Jasprit Bumrah leading the Indian bowling squad in the World Cup. Given the pace and bounce he generates off the field, Prasidh Krishna might have been the second pace alternative to be on the lookout for in the squad.

Although it would be fascinating to see how captain Rohit Sharma uses his weaponry now that it is back up to full strength. Will Ishan Kishan get a chance in the starting XI while K.L. Rahul waits for his turn?


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