Former Indian batsman turned expert analyst Aakash Chopra has come up with a suggestion for wicket-keeper batsman KL Rahul to come in at number 4 for the Lucknow Super Giants during IPL 2024 if he wants to feature in the upcoming 20-team ICC T20 World Cup 2024 later this June.
Although KL Rahul is going to be a part of the Indian team that will welcome England for a 5-match Test series from January 25, the Bangalore-born cricketer was left out of the squad entirely for the Men in Blue’s T20I series against Afghanistan which the hosts won by 3-0.
The Indian management went on to trust Jitesh Sharma to keep the wickets and bat from the middle-order. It raised questions on whether Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid are looking beyond KL Rahul and outcast keeper Ishan Kishan for the T20 WC in the USA and West Indies.
With less than 6 months left for the mega event, it will be interesting to see who makes the final cut and all of it might as well depend upon the Indian Premier League, which is slated to start from March onwards. And if KL Rahul wants to feature in the playing XI then Aakash Chopra believes he will have to slot into number 4.
During the previous T20 WC edition in 2022, Rahul would open the innings with Rohit Sharma but that is not going to be the case this time around due to the presence of Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal. The latter has made the opening slot his own at least in the shortest format and with Virat Kohli coming in at number 3, KL Rahul has to do well from the middle order.
For that reason, Aakash Chopra believes that the 31-year-old should start implementing the change in IPL 2024, where he will be in charge of the Lucknow Super Giants for the 3rd season.
“You might see KL Rahul at No. 4. If he wants to play the World Cup, he probably needs to bat at no. 4. You might see one among Deepak Hooda, Ayush Badoni and Prerak Mankad playing at No. 3. They have plenty of options available to get the work done.” – Aakash Chopra said.
Aakash Chopra Hails KL Rahul And LSG Management For Constituting A Good Team
After the suggestion for KL Rahul to bat at number 4, Aakash Chopra hailed LSG’s coaching management led by Justin Langer for constituting a good team around their core members from the last few seasons. He claimed that LSG’s depth after number 4 is tremendous and also praised them for trading right-arm pacer Avesh Khan for another batter Devdutt Paddikal.
Chopra concluded by stating that Quinton De Kock will be a match-winner for LSG from the top order and also raised concerns over the same for Kyle Mayers.
“After No. 4, they have Nicholas Pooran, Marcus Stoinis, and Ayush Badoni along with Krunal Pandya down the order. Suddenly you see a lot of depth in the batting. De Kock has been scoring runs consistently. He has been unstoppable in every format. I feel he has come to open. If you ask me I would play De Kock the entire season because if he plays 14 matches, he will single-handedly win 4 or 5.” – Chopra concluded.