India vs Australia: Reason why KL Rahul is keeping wickets instead of Rishabh Pant in Mumbai

India vs Australia: Reason why KL Rahul is keeping wickets instead of Rishabh Pant in Mumbai

India are currently defending 255 to win the first ODI.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India and Australia are currently fighting it out in the ongoing first ODI of the three-match series in Mumbai. The hosts, after being put in to bat first have posted 255 runs. Australia now will be hoping to chase down the total and take a 1-0 lead in the series. However, more than anything, KL Rahul donning the wicket-keeping gloves surprised many even as the visitors’ innings began.

The reason for the same is Rishabh Pant is suffering from concussion after being hit on his helmet while batting. Rather the ball had ricocheted off Pant’s bat before hitting the helmet and the catch had lobbed up leading to the Delhi batsman’s dismissal. The blow didn’t seem to be a serious one then.

However, the BCCI confirmed it just at the start of the second innings. Rishabh Pant has been kept under the observation even as Rahul has taken over the wicket-keeping duties. It also remains to be seen if Pant will return to the field and will stay away from the action as a precautionary measure.

Moreover, if KL Rahul does well and Pant is ruled out of the next game, it remains to be seen if India continue with the same ploy in order to accommodate an extra batsman in the line-up.

Rishabh Pant failed to cash in with the bat

Meanwhile, India didn’t have a great day with the bat after losing the toss. Rohit Sharma got out early after which KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan stitched a brilliant century partnership. However, once the stand was broken Australia dominated. India slipped from being comfortably placed 134/1 to 165/5 in a matter of six overs.

This was Rishabh Pant’s chance to make it big and help his team to post a good total. But the southpaw could only score 28 runs off 33 deliveries. Pat Cummins bounced him out in the 44th over of the innings and the same delivery hit Pant on the helmet. The dismissal had earlier created confusion as well with the umpire not raising his finger. But the batsman’s initial movement prompted him to give it out.