After suffering a disappointing defeat in the T20 World Cup held in Australia, India have concluded their tour of New Zealand and will next play a 3-match ODI series in Bangladesh. In preparation for the 50-over World Cup in 2023 at home, the premier Indian team including captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will field. Also, Sothappal heroes KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, who have been acting modestly in recent times, are also seen as groomsmen in this series.
Sanju Samson, who has been waiting for an opportunity for a long time, has been dropped despite performing well this year. On the other hand, the Indian team management is giving Rishabh Pant, who has not always performed well in white-ball cricket, continuous opportunities because he has shown more than Dhoni’s performance in Test cricket.
Especially in T20 cricket, he got a lot of opportunities in 65 matches and squandered them in ODI cricket in the concluded New Zealand series which was held last July to score a century in England. Even though he lost in the Bangladesh series, Raja is expected to be the main wicket-keeper in the 2023 World Cup.
On the other hand, KL Rahul, who has played aggressively in 2019 and replaced Chighar Dhawan as a consistent opener, has been selfishly playing at a low strike rate in recent times to maintain his IPL market cap of Rs 17 crore. He has a habit of faltering, especially after being injured, of hitting wickets and missing important matches against big teams.
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However, despite being named vice-captain in this Bangladesh series, he is going to be the opener in the World Cup. Dinesh Karthik has said that changing their position will help them to perform successfully before that, as they are expected to play in the World Cup. In a recent interview, Rishabh Bundy said that Rishabh Pant as the opening batsman and Rahul playing at number 5 would be beneficial.
“We have to discuss the 5th place in this Bangladesh series. There may be competition between Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul. However I feel KL Rahul will play at that spot. Because Rizb Bundy will be very tired after flying from New Zealand, he may retire in the match. And KL Rahul will be the best number 5 batsman for the World Cup. So, if he is unlucky at that place, the team management can continue him there,” he said.
Former players like Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer said during the New Zealand series that Rizb Bundy, who has been active in Test cricket before, will definitely be amazing if he plays as an opening batsman. But according to them, Rishabh Pant, who entered the field as an opening batsman in the New Zealand series, failed to see any change or improvement. On the other hand, Rahul, who made his debut in 2016 and played in the middle order like 5th place in the early days, was quite stumbling and performed somewhat amazingly after replacing Dhawan in 2019.