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BCCI in Quandary Over KL Rahul’s Fitness: Uncertainty Looms For Crucial Fifth Test
By CricShots - Feb 28, 2024 11:00 am
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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is grappling with uncertainty surrounding KL Rahul’s fitness as the crucial fifth Test against England approaches in Dharamshala, starting March 7. Rahul, sidelined since the initial Test in Hyderabad due to injury, ventured to the United Kingdom for assessment, leaving the team management in suspense as they await his fitness report to finalize selections.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul missed out on a century

India, already facing selection challenges, eyes Rajat Patidar as a potential middle-order inclusion despite his recent struggles. The situation intensifies the selection conundrum, with the team striving to strengthen their lineup for the pivotal final encounter against England.

Despite the series being secured in India’s favour, the team aims to leverage home advantage in the ongoing World Test Championship campaign. The situation arose when Rahul, initially deemed fit for the last three Tests by the medical team, experienced discomfort.

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Concerns arose as Rahul, having endured a demanding workload during the World Cup and the Test series in South Africa, reported inflammation in his quads. Multiple scans were conducted, revealing no specific issue, prompting the doctor who treated him in England to request his personal examination.

 

KL Rahul’s trip to England for further assessment raises questions about managing player injuries amidst tight scheduling. The team management is puzzled by the conflicting information, and while scans indicate no specific problem with Rahul’s quadriceps, his uncertainty, stemming from last year’s IPL injury and subsequent surgery, remains.

With a considerable gap between the fourth and fifth Tests, the management aims to resolve the matter by March 2, seeking clarity on Rahul’s fitness status. The episode underscores the challenges of managing player injuries within a crammed schedule, emphasizing the need for timely resolution for the team’s benefit.

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In an ideal scenario, the team management would prefer Patidar to return to play the Ranji semifinal to find form. However, this decision hinges on Rahul’s availability. If Rahul is unavailable, Patidar may be asked to stay back with the team. Even if Devdutt Padikkal makes his debut in the last Test, the team management requires an extra batter in the squad as a potential concussion substitute, adding another layer of complexity to the selection process.