Reports: KL Rahul to join Team India in New Zealand for the T20I series
At the moment he has been added in India A squad to face the England Lions.
Published - Jan 25, 2019 12:05 pm | Updated - Jan 25, 2019 12:05 pm
All-rounder Hardik Pandya and specialist opener KL Rahul found life less harsh on Thursday as the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that runs the BCCI decided to lift the suspension which was imposed on the two cricketers over their controversial presence on a TV show recently. The two members of the national side were sent back home from Australia after the controversy on filmmaker Karan Johar’s show ‘Koffee With Karan’ caused a massive outrage and it seemed their careers were in serious trouble.
However, the off-field storm is over for both the cricketers albeit temporarily. Pandya was asked to catch a flight to New Zealand as soon as the suspension was revoked to take part in the ongoing ODI series. The Baroda all-rounder is a key part of India’s plans for the World Cup and his absence was seen to be detrimental for the team’s balance.
He has already been out of action for some months due to injury and missing more games could jeopardise his preparation for the mega tournament set to begin May 30.
Hardik could feature in the third match against the Black Caps, which will be his first completed ODI since the game in Leeds against England in July last year. Rahul, on the other hand, will play for India ‘A’ against the visiting England Lions in the last three ODIs before flying to New Zealand for the three-T20I series that will follow the one-dayers, a report in The Times of India said.
The Karnataka batsman, who has been out of sorts with the bat and did poorly in the Test series against Australia, will thus get some match practice before returning to international games.
Talented youngster Shubman Gill and all-rounder Vijay Shankar were picked as replacements for Rahul and Pandya and while Shankar went on to make his ODI debut in Australia and played the first game against the Kiwis, Shubman is still waiting for his turn.
Rahul could replace Kohli in T20Is
Rahul, who has two centuries in T20Is and averages over 43 and hits the ball at the rate of 148.38 per 100 balls, could be picked in the playing XI since captain Virat Kohli has been rested for the series. Kohli will also skip the last two ODIs against the Kiwis which could give Shubman an opening.
India are leading the five-match series 1-0 after their eight-wicket victory in Napier. The second match will be played at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.