KL Rahul Relieved From Wicket-Keeper's Role For England Tests: Report

Veteran Indian cricketer KL Rahul, who kept wickets for the first time in a Test series during India’s tour of South Africa, has reportedly been relieved from the responsibility. Though Rahul impressed many with his skills behind the stumps, he will reportedly not be used as a wicket-keeper batter in the 5-match Test series between India and England. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee and the team management are looking at specialist wicket-keeper KS Bharat to fulfill that role for the team in the upcoming assignment.

As the BCCI announced the squad for the first two Tests against England, KS Bharat and Dhruv Jurel were picked for the wicket-keeper’s role, with the latter earning his maiden Test call-up. 

As per a report in the Times of India, the BCCI doesn’t think Rahul will be the right fit for the wicket-keeper’s role on spin-friendly home pitches, hence, they’ve picked two specialists for the assignment.

“Rahul will play as a specialist batter from now on. While in overseas Tests you just have to stand back to the pacers, wicketkeeping in India, where spinners operate in tandem, isn’t easy. The ball can bounce or spin viciously on the spin-friendly home wickets. You’ve to keep moving up and down as a keeper. We want a specialist in that role.

“Rahul, on the other hand, is one of our most valuable batting assets. We don’t want to burn him out by making him do the glovework as well. There is also the chance of him catching an injury while standing behind the stumps, which we can’t afford. Bharat and Jurel will be our wicketkeepers in this series.

“Jurel is a talented keeper-bat. We’ve been tracking this 22-year-old since the time he was playing for India in the U-19 team,” TOI quoted the source as saying.

Earlier, a report in the Indian Express also confirmed the BCCI’s intention to play Rahul only as a specialist batter in the England Test series.

“The Indian team will once again be playing on a turner track, and the team management felt that specialist spinners should handle the job at home. The team has many quality spinners, and the team won’t take any chances, especially when the pitch being offered will be a turner,” a source in the BCCI told the paper.

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