Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar feels KL Rahul is “very lucky” to be recalled to the Indian Test side on the basis of his performance in white-ball cricket and Indian Premier League (IPL). Rahul, who has been in scintillating form in the ongoing IPL as he has scored 595 runs in 12 matches so far for Kings XI Punjab and holds the Orange Cap, has been named in the Test squad for the upcoming four-match Border-Gavaskar series against Australia to be played in December-January.
According a Manjrekar, a bad precedent is set when a played is recalled for Test on the basis of his IPL performance and it “massively motivates” players playing the Ranji Trophy. “You set a bad precedent when you recall a player for Tests on IPL performance. Especially if the player has been an abject failure in his last few Tests. Whether that player succeeds or fails is irrelevant, such selections massively demotivate Ranji players. #INDvsAUS (sic),” Manjrekar, a veteran of 37 Tests and 74 ODIs, said in a tweet.
Incidentally, Rahul was dropped from India’s Test squad after a forgettable series in West Indies last year, where he aggregated 101 runs from four innings. He was not even included even in the A side for the tour of New Zealand earlier this year.
“KL Rahul in his last 5 Test series – v SA – Avg 7.1, – v Eng – Avg 29, – v WI at home – Avg 18, – v Aus – Avg 10.7, – v WI – Avg 25.4, I say very lucky to get a recall based on IPL and white ball performance. But now let’s just hope he makes the most of this chance. Good luck to him! (sic)” Manjrekar said in other tweet while putting out Rahul’s performance in last five Test series.
Rahul has so far played 36 Tests for India in which he has scored 2006 runs, including five hundreds and 11 half-centuries. He has also played 32 ODIs and 41 T20Is in which he has scored 1239 and 1461 runs respectively.
The Australia tour will comprise three T20Is, three ODIs and four Test matches, expected to be played between November 27 and January 19. The official itinerary is, however, yet to be announced.