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Rahul Dravid Clarifies Wicketkeeper Role: KL Rahul To Focus On Batting Against England
By CricShots - Jan 23, 2024 4:32 pm
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As Team India gears up for the impending five-match Test series against England, scheduled to kick off on January 25 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, one key position that has been under discussion is the wicketkeeper role for the Indian side. With players like KL Rahul, KS Bharat, and Dhruv Jurel in the squad, speculation has been rife about who will take up the gloves.

kl rahul
KL Rahul

To settle the debate, head coach Rahul Dravid stepped forward and clarified that KL Rahul, despite his commendable wicketkeeping performance against South Africa, will not be taking up the role of the wicketkeeper in the Test series against England. Dravid emphasized that the selection would be between the other two designated wicketkeepers in the squad.

“KL Rahul will not play as wicketkeeper in Test series against England considering the conditions and duration of the series. We have picked two other wicket-keepers, and obviously Rahul did a fantastic job for us in South Africa and really played a big part in helping us draw the series. But considering five Test matches (against England) and playing in these conditions, the selection will be between the two other keepers we have,” Rahul Dravid said in the press conference.

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While acknowledging Rahul’s impactful contribution in South Africa, Dravid explained that considering the conditions and the duration of the upcoming five-Test series against England, the team management prefers a specialist wicketkeeper.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

The nature of Indian pitches, especially with increased turn for spinners, demands a wicketkeeper who can confidently stand up to the stumps against quality spinners like R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

Rahul Dravid highlighted the importance of assigning this role to a specialist stumper, suggesting that standing up to spinners on Indian wickets requires a unique skill set. “The nature of pitches in India makes it mandatory for a wicketkeeper to stand up to the wickets against spinners, in this case, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, a role that should be assigned to a specialist stumper,” he said.

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By relieving KL Rahul of the wicketkeeping duties, the team aims to allow him to focus more on his batting performance, enabling him to make significant contributions with the bat in the series against England. The decision reflects a strategic approach to optimize the skills of the players in varying conditions and formats throughout the Test series.