'KL Rahul should be keeping' - Ravi Shastri backs KL Rahul ahead of WTC final to end Test slump
“Rahul has really done well to keep the selectors interested ahead of the WTC final,” Shastri had said earlier.
Ravi Shastri continues to back KL Rahul to return to India's playing XI for the World Test Championship 2023 final and don the wicketkeeping gloves ahead of KS Bharat. Rahul was dropped for the last two matches in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 after struggling to make an impact in the first two matches.
Bharat kept wickets in all four Tests against Australia with a first-choice Rishabh Pant sidelined. But he was criticized for his ordinary wicketkeeping skills while he scored just 101 runs in six innings.
Shubman Gill replaced Rahul in the last two Tests and opened the alongside captain Rohit Sharma. He further cemented his place in the playing XI for the WTC final by scoring 128 runs in the first innings of the Ahmedabad Test. Rahul is expected to miss out on making the playing XI for the WTC final but is likely to remain part of the squad.
However, the former Indian head coach has again backed KL Rahul to don the wicketkeeping gloves in the WTC final. He said that Bharat is a newcomer for a big game like the WTC final, and the Indian team should consider other options.
“KL Rahul should be keeping. Clear-cut. You don’t have to keep much to the spinners. At No. 5 or 6, he can strengthen the batting and keep wickets too. Of course, he can also keep in Tests because you have to see the all-round strength. It’s not like the ‘keeper we have right now is so good that he can’t be dropped. He is also a newcomer, KS Bharat and he will learn with exposure, but for this one-off big game, you have to weigh all the options," Shastri said during LLC Master 2023 game, according to a Hindustan Times report.