KL Rahul looks in sharp touch, no visible discomfort in training
After joining the India squad in Colombo this Tuesday, KL Rahul had his first session at the Nondescripts Cricket Club indoor nets on Thursday. The Sri Lankan capital witnessed heavy rain accompanied by strong winds in the morning, compelling India to conduct their optional training indoors.
Rahul formed a select group alongside Hardik Pandya, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Shubman Gill, and Shardul Thakur, all of whom trained under the vigilant supervision of head coach Rahul Dravid and batting coach Vikram Rathour. He commenced with a series of throwdowns and took turns batting with Iyer. His movements displayed no apparent discomfort as he adeptly shifted his feet and executed precise punches and half-drives.
Having last participated in an ODI match in March, Rahul sustained a tendon injury in his right thigh during the IPL and subsequently underwent surgery in May. Despite being included in the Asia Cup squad after extensive rehabilitation at the NCA, he was sidelined for the first two matches after encountering a fresh setback.
KL Rahul boasts of impressive stats in ODIs
While Rahul hasn't engaged in competitive play since May, he remains a pivotal figure in India's plans as their designated wicketkeeper. With Ishan Kishan's commendable performance, scoring a resilient half-century and aiding India's recovery from a shaky start against Pakistan, the decision between him and the returning Rahul will be a challenging one.
Since the 2019 men's World Cup, Rahul boasts an average of 55.64, second only to Sanju Samson among all keepers who have played a minimum of five games in this period. He also maintains a striking rate of 97.61 in 18 ODIs.
Agarkar refrained from disclosing whether India would exclude Kishan, who brings a left-handed factor for India's Super Fours clash against Pakistan, stating, "The captain-coach will sit down and decide what's best for the team on a given day. We're happy to have two options who will fight for a place in the team than the other way round."