With World cup being less than four months away, the teams are trying to work regressively with the full fortitude to get to their best 15-member squad. For India, even after all the permutations and combinations, the team is still left with a few spots to grab. One of which turns out to be – reserve opener.
Going into a tournament like World Cup, the teams generally try to go ahead with an extra opener in case one of the two regular openers gets injured. Though Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are doing exceeding well at their respective positions, there is still a concern in the Indian dressing room. And hence the debate surrounds to who will be India’s reserve opener for the upcoming World Cup?
The skipper along with the team management has already tried a few faces for that spot but hasn’t been convinced with their consistency. With the clock ticking every single minute, time to try fresh faces isn’t there. In these circumstances, the Chief selector of the Indian team, MSK Prasad spoke about whether KL Rahul is still in the contention for the upcoming World Cup.
Prasad explained that his poor form for India urged the selectors to put him in India A side for his form was beginning to pose a concern ahead of World Cup.
"In England, he could have done well. I was very disappointed when he failed against the West Indies at home. But with his style of play we thought he would definitely do well in Australia because he had done well on the previous tour [2014-15] there, and pace and bounce suit his game better. Unfortunately, he did not deliver. It is definitely a cause of concern. Having said that, he is a class act and he is just a good knock away. That is why we have put him in the India A team currently playing the England Lions," said Prasad in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.
"All of us have confidence him. Take that century in the Manchester T20. He is a batsman of supreme class. He has definitely failed in red-ball cricket, but you cannot look at the red-ball form in white-ball cricket. That is what we as selectors ought to consider. Also, he has had limited opportunities to play in ODIs owing to the good form of the regular opening pair of Rohit and Shikhar. Even in the Asia Cup, he sat out. That did not help him. So not only was he was failing in Test cricket, the majority of the time he was sitting out in white-ball cricket. So that failure got magnified," he added.
On being whether KL Rahul is still in the mix of the things for the World Cup, Prasad said, "Of course, he is definitely part of the conversation, but we expect him to get runs if he has to make a comeback.”