'If KL Rahul has a niggle, don't pick him in the squad' - Kris Srikkanth expresses discontent over unclear selection policy
K Srikkanth criticised the Indian selection panel for including Rahul in India's Asia Cup squad, who is reportedly dealing with a new niggle.
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Former India opener and Chief Selector, Kris Srikkanth has raised concerns over the selection of KL Rahul in the 17-member squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023. Srikkanth criticised the Indian selection panel for including Rahul, who is reportedly dealing with a new niggle, making him unfit for the match against Pakistan on September 2.
Ajit Agarkar, the chairperson of selectors, hinted that Rahul might miss the crucial match due to an unspecified niggle. However, Agarkar clarified that the issue was distinct from Rahul's previous calf injury that had kept him out of action since the middle of the IPL earlier this year. As a precautionary plan, India has chosen Sanju Samson as Rahul's backup.
Srikkanth, expressing his discontent in a YouTube video, stated, "It's being said that KL Rahul has a niggle. If you have a niggle, don't pick him in the squad. If a player is not fit during selection, you shouldn't pick him." He emphasized that players should only be selected if they are fully fit at the time of selection to avoid complications later on.
Rahul's injury woes arose from the IPL 2023, during which he sustained a thigh injury, necessitating surgery and a period of rehabilitation. Unfortunately, this injury caused him to miss not only a significant part of the IPL but also the World Test Championship final. Despite the setbacks, Rahul displayed his determination to return to the field by sharing pictures of himself using crutches shortly after surgery.
Srikkanth recalled past incidents from his time on the selection panel, where players were excluded from the squad if they were not fit on the day of selection. He cited a Test match against South Africa when VVS Laxman's uncertain fitness led to a chain of events that ended with Wriddhiman Saha making his debut. Srikkanth urged the current selection panel to uphold a clear selection policy to avoid similar situations.
The upcoming Asia Cup match against Pakistan holds significance for India, and Srikkanth urged the selectors to ensure players' fitness to maximize the team's chances of success. The Indian team will be aiming for a strong start to their Asia Cup campaign as they face off against their arch-rivals Pakistan in Kandy, Sri Lanka, on September 2.