Former India opener questions KL Rahul’s absence from T20I squad for Afghanistan series

Tags: Afghanistan tour of India 2024, India, Kannaur Lokesh Rahul, Aakash Chopra

Published on: Jan 10, 2024

Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has questioned KL Rahul's omission from the T20I squad for the home series against Afghanistan. According to Chopra, both captain Rohit Sharma and Rahul were poor during the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. However, while Rohit has been recalled, there is surprisingly no place for Rahul.

Both Rohit and Virat Kohli were recalled to the Indian T20I squad for the three-match series against Afghanistan when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named the 16-member squad on Sunday, January 7. The two have been out of favor in the T20I format since India’s exit from the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Chopra claimed that while Rohit had an exceptional ODI World Cup at home, Rahul also did well, so there was no reason to leave him out. "When you want to go back to your seniors, what is Rahul's mistake? If you are making the team based on the last T20 World Cup performance, both Rohit and Rahul did not do well. Both are in the same boat," he said.

"After that, both have done well, if we see the last World Cup, the ODI one. Then both names should have been there. Rahul even keeps and bats down the order now. So you could have played him there as well. However, Rahul is not there but Rohit is. Virat Kohli is there. You were not looking to keep him for the last one year," Chopra went on to add.

Rohit scored only 116 runs in the 2022 T20 World Cup at a strike rate of just over 106. On the other hand, Rahul scored 128 runs at a strike rare in the range of 120. Rohit, Rahul and Kohli were not picked in T20Is after that even though the last mentioned name had a terrific campaign with the bat. Kohli was the leading run-getter in the World Cup with 296 runs at an average of 98.66 and a strike rate of 136.40.

All three batters, though, impressed in the ODI World Cup at home. Kohli scored a record-breaking 765 runs at an average of 95.62, with three hundreds and six fifties. Rohit was second in the list with 597 runs at a brilliant strike rate of 125.95. Rahul also contributed 452 runs in at an average of 75.33, which included a hundred.

In his video, Chopra also opined that Yashasvi Jaiswal or Shubman Gill could open with Rohit. He added that the other alternative could be to open with Rohit and Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav then coming in at No. 3.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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