Last Update on: December 15th, 2017 at 12:51 pm
India batsman KL Rahul might not be named in the playing XI for the first two T20Is against Sri Lanka as the board has released him to play the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy 2017/18. The news was confirmed by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) itself.
It comes as a big surprise as already, KL Rahul is not part of the India ODI and also lost his place in playing XI to Murali Vijay in the third Test against Sri Lanka. With BCCI also releasing him to play Ranji Trophy, it comes as a big surprise.
One of the ideas behind BCCI’s decision to release KL Rahul can be that all the players who are part of India’s Test team to play South Africa series have bee allowed to play Ranji Trophy. The list includes players like Mohammed Shami, Wriddhiman Saha and Umesh Yadav. Ishant Sharma’s availability for the game is yet to be known. However, none of the mentioned players is in the T20I squad, which has raised few doubts.
Probably, BCCI might want him to play red ball cricket before going to South Africa. Still, it has come out as a big surprise as since Ravi Shastri has taken over the Head Coach of the side; the team management has almost created two separate teams for Test and limited overs format. This has already seen players like Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin being confined to the Test format only.
In case the game is applied for KL Rahul, it would see him warming the bench on most occasions as with two back to back tons, Murali Vijay has sealed one slot as an opener and Shikhar Dhawan, with his big knocks since his comeback, has fixed the other seat for some time now.
KL Rahul will go to South Africa as the third opener and might have to warm the bench in all the three matches, depending upon fitness and form of other two openers.
The Ranji Trophy semifinal will be played from December 17 to 22 while the three T20Is will be played on December 20, 22 and 24. Karnataka will face Vidarbha in the semifinal at Eden Gardens in Bengal.
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