After scoring 163 runs in the recently concluded t20 series versus West Indies, Lokesh Rahul has made a strong case for his selection in India’s World Cup squad next year.
Rahul got a chance to open only after Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out if the series owing to a knee injury the Delhi batsman endured during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Karnataka wicketkeeper-batsman didn’t waste any time to ensure a healthy contribution in the team’s victory over Kieron Pollard’s men. Rahul scored a fine fifty in Hyderabad before missing on his 3rd t20 international hundred by 9 runs at Mumbai. Rahul was the second-highest run-getter in the series just 19 runs short of Virat Kohli.
Dhawan will miss out on the 50 over series too and will be replaced by Mayank Agarwal. With Dhawan who has been out of the international circuit for quite some time now, the selectors will want to test India’s regular opener’s effectiveness. Shikhar who has a great record in ICC tournaments will surely want to be back and contest for a place in the squad going to Australia in 2020.
KL Rahul joined the team after performing well in Karnataka’s Mushtaq Ali campaign. The state won a close final match against arch-rivals Tamil Nadu. Rahul amassed 313 runs in 8 innings during the tournament with his 31 balls 66 against Haryana in the semi-finals is one of the best knocks in the domestic competition. This extraordinary performance against West Indies saw Rahul move up three positions in the ICC rankings, he is at the 6th rung currently.
Lokesh Rahul who is known for his technical soundness and ability to play a wide range of shots commented on where he sees himself in the world cup contention. He said, “I won’t say I won’t feel it (pressure) at all. Obviously, going in and out of the team is never easy on any player. You take a little bit of time to get used to the international pressure and oppositions and there is no opposition where you can just walk in and score runs, so it’s always difficult and this game is all about confidence and all about being in a good rhythm and being in good touch. ”
With Rahul eagerly gearing up for the ODI series and Dhawan still out with injury, is the Indian management going to fixate on Lokesh’s services or are they going to try Dhawan?
Another clause that can be added to this equation says – Can Dhawan play as an opener and Rahul come down in the order, this lineup shall preserve both these batsmen and may solve India’s middle-order woes.