Curious Case of KL Rahul’s Absence from India Test Squad


KL Rahul has been ruled out of the 4th England Test in Ranchi

KL Rahul has been ruled out of the 4th England Test in Ranchi

It is reliably understood that Rahul did regain fitness ahead of the Rajkot Test only but wasn’t confident enough to return to the field for that fixture. There was enough time for Rahul, who according to the BCCI was “progressing well”, to return to action but that hasn’t been the case.

Right after the thumping win over England in Rajkot, captain Rohit Sharma, when asked after the post-match press conference about how close KL Rahul is, he responded “he should be okay”.

Rohit’s comment came almost a week after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed that the right-hander “has reached 90 per cent of match fitness” but he is now ruled out of the upcoming fourth Test in Ranchi starting from February 23.

The Indian cricket team landed in Ranchi around 4 pm on Tuesday and Rahul didn’t accompany the squad which took the private charter from Rajkot. The experienced right-hander was expected to join the side directly in Ranchi but the late-night press release from the Indian cricket board has informed that he is “ruled out of the 4th Test. His participation in the final Test match in Dharamsala is subject to fitness”.

BCCI’s media advisory didn’t give any other details on Rahul. CricketNext reached out to a senior BCCI official, chairman of men’s senior selection committee Ajit Agarkar and coach Rahul Dravid with a very specific query on the exact nature of Rahul’s injury but didn’t get a response from any of them.

Rahul last featured in the Hyderabad Test where he scored 86 and 22 in the two innings vs England and has been missing from action since then. The right-hander complained of pain in his right quadriceps during the Test and was ruled out of 2nd Test but named in the squad for the remainder of the series, subject to fitness. He wasn’t able to get fit in time for the Rajkot Test and was replaced by Devdutt Padikkal in the squad but was expected to return to the Playing XI in Ranchi.

BCCI’s February 12 media advisory stated that the right-hander has reached “90% match fitness” and it’s surprising that he hasn’t recovered in time for the February 23 start.

It is reliably understood that Rahul did regain fitness ahead of the Rajkot Test only but wasn’t confident enough to return to the field for that fixture. There was enough time between the end of the Hyderabad Test and the start of the Ranchi Test for Rahul, who according to the BCCI was “progressing well”, to return to action but that hasn’t been the case.

Bumrah released, Mukesh rejoins squad

In another notable development, vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah has been released from the squad for the fourth Test. The entire squad reached Ranchi earlier in the day and Bumrah didn’t accompany them.

“Jasprit Bumrah has been released from the squad for the 4th IDFC First Bank Test against England in Ranchi. The decision was taken keeping in mind the duration of the series and amount of cricket he has played in recent times,” read the BCCI advisory.

Seamer Mukesh Kumar, who was released ahead of the third Test and played the Ranji Trophy fixture between Bengal and Bihar at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, has rejoined the squad.

India’s updated squad for the 4th Test: Rohit Sharma (C), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Devdutt Padikkal, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep.



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