'We Were Mainly Looking For Middle-Order Options': BCCI Chief Selector Ajit Agarkar On KL Rahul's Non-Selection In India T20 WC Squad

'We Were Mainly Looking For Middle-Order Options': BCCI Chief Selector Ajit Agarkar On KL Rahul's Non-Selection In India T20 WC Squad

KL Rahul's name was missing from the India squad for the T20 World Cup despite being a regular member of Team India.

Hrishikesh DamodarUpdated: Thursday, May 02, 2024, 07:47 PM IST
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KL Rahul | Credits: Twitter

The BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar revealed the reason behind the exclusion of KL Rahul from the India squad for the T20 World Cup 2024 during the press conference at the board's headquarters in Mumbai on Thursday, May 2.

The BCCI on Tuesday unveiled the squad that he will board the flight to the USA and the West Indies for the showpiece event. The star players including the likes of skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah.

Surprisingly, KL Rahul's name was missing from the squad despite being a regular member of Team India. He was not included in the reserves that will travel with the main squad for the showpiece.

Ajit Agarkar opens up KL Rahul's exclusion

Speaking at the press conference, Ajit Agarkar stated that the selectors were looking for players who can bat in the middle rather than opening the innings. He added that Sanju Samson's ability to come down the order won him over KL Rahul for the place in the squad.

"KL Rahul is a terrific player, we all know that. We were looking for middle order options. At the moment KL bats at the top in IPL. Rishabh not opening the innings. Sanju has the ability to come down the order if needed." BCCI chief selector said.

"Rishabh is batting at no.5 in Delhi and this was the thinking behind backing Pant and Samson. It wasn't whether KL was better or these guys were better." he added.

The BCCI selectors went with Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant went with wicketkeeping options for the T20 World Cup 2024. Before the squad announcement, it was reported that KL Rahul's place in the 15-member squad was doubtful as the selection committee was looking at Samson as first wicketkeeping choice in the showpiece event.

KL Rahul in IPL 2024

Meanwhile, KL Rahul has been in good form in the ongoing season of the IPL 2024. He is playing his first professional tournament ever since his return to competitive after being on the sidelines due to injury, which he sustained in the first Test of the five-match series against England.

Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) skipper KL Rahul is currently the leading run-scorer for the team, amassing 406 runs, including three fifties, at an average of 40.60 and a strike rate of 142.95 in 10 matches.

Rahul's best performance came against Chennai Super Kings, where he scored 82 off 53 balls. His effort paid off after Lucknow Super Giants defeated Chennai Super Kings by 8 wickets.

KL Rahul will look to pile up more runs in the remaining matches of the ongoing IPL season.

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