I think this is not the way to treat a youngster, says VVS Laxman on KL Rahul's axing

Dinesh Karthik was included in the side at the expense of KL Rahul.

KL Rahul
Lokesh Rahul of India leaves the field. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

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The series-decider between India and England has got underway at Headingley as the hosts have won the toss and opted to field first. It is expected to be a humdinger as both the teams would be eager to win the series and continue their proud winning record in the format. The visitors, for the same reason, made three changes in the side which have disappointed the former India cricketer VVS Laxman.

Virat Kohli, at the toss, justified the reasons for the changes he made in the side for an all-important game. He termed the dropping of KL Rahul for this encounter as ‘tactical’ as they brought in Dinesh Karthik to bat at the much-debated number 4 slot. Also, the two fast bowlers, Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul, were left out for Bhuvneshwar Kumar who was fit and Shardul Thakur.

I felt bad for Rahul

VVS Laxman, while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, expressed his disappointment over the axing of KL Rahul who has now been in and out of the side very often. He felt that the stylish right-hander shouldn’t have been left out of the important game only after a solitary failure.

“Well. if the changes are not because of injuries then I am really disappointed. The reason for that is, this is not the first time this is happening with KL Rahul. It’s just one inning where he failed. In the first match, he was unbeaten when India won the match at Trent Bridge. If you treat a player, especially when you know that he is a class player. You have to make sure he performs well. I think this is not the way to treat a youngster,” he said.

It will be interesting to see now if Dinesh Karthik makes the most of his opportunity and seal his place at number 4. He has played only a solitary game on this tour against Ireland so far and the onus is on him now to provide the stability to the Indian innings.

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