India’s decision to leave out an in-form KL Rahul for the ongoing challenging Test series in New Zealand has baffled many including former India skipper Kapil Dev. The right-handed batsman has been in stunning form since the World Cup last year.
Even in New Zealand, he made his mark with the bat. In the five-match T20I series, he scored two fifties while scoring 27, 39 and 45 in the other three games as India clean swept the series. In the ODI series which India lost 0-3, KL Rahul smashed an unbeaten 88 in the first game before scoring 112 in the third game.
However, his recent impressive displays in white-ball cricket did not change his fortunes in Tests as the selectors continued to ignore him since dropping him from the team after the tour of West Indies last year. The decision was baffling since India were without Rohit Sharma for the series.
But instead of recalling KL Rahul, the selectors recalled Prithvi Shaw and persisted with Shubman Gill as the backup option. Speaking about the decision, Kapil Dev expressed his surprise over the same. At the same time, the World Cup-winning captain decided against criticising the decision too much.
“Only team management can answer that. What we see is totally different. When the selectors sit they have lot of things to look into,” said Kapil Dev.
“Yes, in our time it used to be ‘man in the form he should play’ but this is a new breed of cricketers and they have their own rules,” he added.
India trail the two-match series after losing the first Test by ten wickets. With the series now on line, Kapil Dev said India need to learn from its mistakes in the opening Test and come out harder at New Zealand in the second game to start in Christchurch on Saturday.
“Haven’t we won bouncy wickets before? In Perth or Melbourne or Durban. We have done this before, so I am not concerned if you say you can scare somebody with the short ball,” he said.
“They are professional, they understand the game and they will come out much harder in the next Test. If not then give all the praise to the New Zealand team,” added Kapil Dev.