Published: 14th Dec,2020 4:17PM

KL Rahul has made a comeback into the Indian Test squad on the back of his limited-overs performances

Former opener Aakash Chopra has opined that KL Rahul will not be a part of the Indian team for the first Test against Australia as he did not play either of the two warm-up encounters.

He made this observation while talking about the opening conundrum for Team India in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

Aakash Chopra started by pointing out KL Rahul’s decent Test record brings him in contention for the second opener’s spot along with Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill.

“KL Rahul has a case to be India’s opener for the first Test. You might ask why I am making his case. It is because his stats might say something, he has scored runs at an average of 36 in thirty-three Test matches and has scored five centuries as an opener.”

The renowned commentator highlighted KL Rahul has played a majority of his big knocks in overseas conditions.

“Three out of the five centuries have come outside India. So if you think from that angle, then he scores runs. He has made a century in Australia, England, West Indies and made runs in Sri Lanka. Actually, he has 4 hundreds outside India.”

However, he observed KL Rahul has had an indifferent run in his last ten Test innings.

“So, he is a very good player although if you see his last ten knocks in Test cricket, you will find that he has not scored too many runs. That is something that is going against him.”

Aakash Chopra pointed out that KL Rahul has proved his worth as an opener in the shorter formats of the game after being left out of the Test side.

“But after that he has started scoring runs, if you see white-ball cricket he has scored a lot of runs. He is India’s second-highest run-scorer in T20Is in the last three years. Even in ODIs as an opener, his numbers in the last ten innings are very good.”

The 43-year-old added that a player can certainly make a comeback in the five-day format based on his numbers in white-ball cricket. He even gave examples of Rohit Sharma recently and Virender Sehwag in the past who have done the same.

“If you don’t want to give weightage to this at all, then we made Rohit Sharma also open based on his white-ball numbers and same was the case with Viru. Also that is the reason you have taken him back in the Test team.”

Aakash Chopra on why KL Rahul is not in consideration for the first Test

KL Rahul did not play either of the two warm-up matches against Australia A
KL Rahul did not play either of the two warm-up matches against Australia A

Aakash Chopra pointed out KL Rahul not being seen in action in either of the first-class practice matches hinders his chances of playing the first Test.

“KL Rahul having not played a warm-up match goes against him. It was understandable that he didn’t play the first one because he was playing the T20Is but he could have played the second pink-ball match.”

The former KKR player observed KL Rahul would certainly have been a part of the second warm-up encounter if he is in contention for a spot in the Adelaide Test.

“The team management did not play him there. Since, they have not played him, it means he is not being considered at all. He is a complete left-field selection, that is unlikely to happen.”

Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that KL Rahul will not feature in the Indian team for the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

“Whether he should be there or not is a different question but I feel KL Rahul’s name will not be there in the playing XI for the first Test.”

KL Rahul is unlikely to feature as an opener in the Adelaide Test, with either Prithvi Shaw or Shubman Gill primed to open with Mayank Agarwal. But the Kings XI Punjab skipper will surely be one of the favourites to take Virat Kohli’s spot in the middle order once the Indian captain leaves for home after the first Test.