Despite the Indian stream rolling the Australian team in the first two tests of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, one major concern for the Indian side is the awful form of vice-captain KL Rahul. Rahul only averages 33.44 in 47 Tests, and since hitting his seventh century against South Africa in Centurion, he has recorded scores of 23, 50, 8, 12, 10, 22, 23, 10, 2, 20, and 17. And as a result of India having a good opener warming the bench in Shubman Gill, the requests to drop him have only grown with each outing. Beside Gill, there are other players waiting for a call-up in Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Prithvi Shaw, and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Rahul was kept for the remaining two Test matches against Australia but was removed as vice-captain due to his recent slump in performance.
Why Rahul was removed as vice-captain
Rahul has been in poor form lately, making just 198 runs in his last 12 innings and 38 runs overall in the current Test series’ first three innings. Even while some might disagree and say that the pitches in Nagpur and Delhi were difficult for batsmen, Rahul has looked totally out of his depth. As a result, the management has chosen to relieve Rahul of his responsibilities as Rohit Sharma’s assistant and release him from the leadership role.
Instead, Rohit is now in charge of choose his own deputy thanks to the selectors and management. The strain on Rahul as a batter has been increasing with the youthful and talented opener Shubman Gill sitting on the sidelines. Now that the vice-captain title has been dropped, the team management may make adjustments for the game against Indore.
Rahul’s removal from his vice-captaincy position by the BCCI is a blatant sign that the team administration is dissatisfied with his performance. The decision has also placed more responsibility on Rohit Sharma to manage the team well and select a trustworthy assistant. India will be expecting to do well against Australia in the forthcoming one-day international match thanks to the return of several important players to the ODI team.
Coach Rahul Dravid on Rahul’s form: “We’ll continue to back him”
“I think he needs to trust his processes. This is just a phase, he has been one of our most successful overseas openers. He’s got hundreds in South Africa and England, we’ll continue to back him. I believe he has the quality and class to come out of this. It is great working with this unit, managing formats is the most difficult part. But there’s not a lot of technical coaching, just simple conversations and challenging them, and giving them a pat on the back when they do well,” Dravid told Star Sports.
Captain Rohit Sharma on Rahul: “There has been lot of talk on his batting”
“Of late, there has been lot of talk on his batting. But for us as team management, we always look at the potential of any individual, not just KL. I have been asked in the past about lot of players. If a guy has potential, guys will get that extended run.” said Rohit
He added:“I was asked in the past about a lot of players, and if the guy has potential, guys will get that extended run. It’s not just about KL, but anyone. If you look at the couple of hundreds he got outside India, two of the best I’ve seen from KL, especially at Lord’s – batting on a damp pitch, losing the toss, put in, and playing in England is never easy, and he put in a great performance there, and Centurion was another one. Both came in India wins, so again, that’s the potential he has.”