Former India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad has questioned opener and vice-captain K.L Rahul being given an extended run in the Test team, saying his performances have been well below par.
Rahul was dismissed for a laborious 20 off 71 balls in the first innings of the ongoing first Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against Australia at VCA Stadium in Nagpur. He last brought up a fifty against South Africa at Johannesburg in January 2022, and since then, the highest score in his last eight Test innings is 23.
"I have a lot of regard for K.L Rahul's talent and ability, but sadly his performances have been well below par. A test average of 34 after 46 tests and more than 8 years in international cricket is ordinary. Can't think of many who have been given so many chances."
"When there are so many waiting in the wings and in top form. Shubhman Gill is in sublime form, Sarfaraz has been scoring tons in FC cricket and many who deserve a chance ahead of Rahul. Some are just lucky to be given chances endlessly till they succeed while some aren't allowed to," wrote Prasad in a series of tweets.
Prasad also called for ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to be made the vice-captain of the side in Rahul's place.
"And to make matters worse, Rahul is the designated vice-captain. Ashwin has a great cricketing brain and should be the vice-captain in the Test format. If not he should be Pujara or Jadeja. Mayank Agarwal had a far better impact than Rahul in Tests and so did Vihari."
Prasad also took a shot at the critics of the game who haven't questioned Rahul's place in the Test team.
"Rahul's selection is not based on performance but favouritism. Has been consistently inconsistent and for someone who has been around for 8 years not converted potential into performances. One of the reasons why many ex-cricketers aren't vocal despite seeing such favouritism.."
"is the chances of losing out on potential IPL gigs. They wouldn't want to rub the captain of a franchisee the wrong way, as in today's age most people like yes men and blind approvers. Often well-wishers are your best critics but times have changed & people don't want to be told truth."
In the post-match press conference after day two's play, India batting coach Vikram Rathour said he didn't think about questioning Rahul's place in the Test team.
"I won't be able to comment on that. To be fair to K.L., in the past 10 Tests that he has played he (Rahul) has scored a couple of hundreds and a couple of fifties. He has a hundred in South Africa, he has a hundred in England and also has a couple of fifties. I don't think we are there."
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