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  5. KL Rahul to play as a specialist batter, Ishan Kishan set to take up wicketkeeper's role vs England: Report

KL Rahul to play as a specialist batter, Ishan Kishan set to take up wicketkeeper's role vs England: Report

Team India is set to ring in changes as far as the make-up of the line-up is concerned for the Test series against England. KL Rahul made his debut as a wicketkeeper in red-ball cricket for India in the South Africa series but it seems, he might be freed up of that burden in the upcoming series.

Written By: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Published on: January 11, 2024 0:27 IST
KL Rahul smashed a century on his debut as a wicketkeeper
Image Source : REUTERS KL Rahul smashed a century on his debut as a wicketkeeper in Tests against South Africa in Centurion

KL Rahul, India's only centurion in the two-match Test series against South Africa, reignited his career in red-ball cricket as a wicketkeeper continuing his middle-order role from where he left off in the World Cup. However, considering the slower Indian pitches and the turn, the idea of him playing as a keeper-batter is set to be dropped for the upcoming five-match Test series against England at home with Rahul set to play just as a specialist batter.

As per a Cricbuzz report, Ishan Kishan, who has requested a break, is in consideration for the specialist keeper's role against England. Kishan, contrary to the reports, hasn't made himself available yet from the mental break and as head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed, there are no disciplinary issues regarding the 24-year-old. However, Dravid did say that Kishan will have to play domestic cricket before being considered for national team, as is the case for anyone and everyone returning to the side after a long break.

"Absolutely no disciplinary issue. Ishan Kishan was not available for selection. Ishan requested for a break, which we agreed in South Africa. We supported it. He has not yet made himself available. When he is available, he will play domestic cricket and make himself available for selection," Dravid said on the eve of India's first T20I against Afghanistan in Mohali.

Kishan, who made his Test debut against West Indies, requested to be withdrawn from Tests against South Africa after which KS Bharat was flown as his replacement. If Rahul plays just as a batter, Kishan and Bharat are the likely wicketkeeping options for India against England with Rishabh Pant still on the sidelines after his accident in December 2022. Rahul, who was playing his first Test assignment since the Border-Gavaskar series last year, gave a good account of himself as a middle-order batter despite a couple of failures in the other two innings apart from the ton in Centurion in the first innings.

The five-match Test series begins in Hyderabad on January 25.

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