India’s head coach Rahul Dravid has confirmed that KL Rahul will not be taking on the wicketkeeping duties in the upcoming 5-match Test series against England.

As India gears up for the first Test against England in Hyderabad, head coach Rahul Dravid has clarified that KL Rahul will not be handling wicketkeeping duties throughout the series. Despite Rahul’s consistent role as a wicketkeeper since his return from injury last year, the team management aims to include a specialist wicketkeeper. The squad features Rahul alongside Kona Srikar Bharat and newcomer Dhruv Jurel.

However, for the upcoming series, Bharat is expected to assume the responsibility behind the stumps. Rahul, who previously kept wickets in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, the South Africa ODI series, and the subsequent Test series, will now focus solely on his batting role in the red-ball format. The first Test is scheduled at Uppal Stadium on Thursday.

“Rahul will not be playing as a wicket-keeper in this series and we are clear about that in the selection itself. 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,” Dravid said while addressing the media.

“But considering five Test matches (against England) and playing in these conditions the selection will be between the two other keepers we have,” the coach added.

With KL Rahul having only three instances of keeping wickets in his 92 First-Class matches, none of which occurred in India, selecting him as the wicketkeeper against England seemed less favorable. In contrast, Kona Srikar Bharat, standing in for Rishabh Pant, has displayed commendable wicketkeeping skills. Despite not leaving a significant impact with the bat, Bharat’s prowess behind the stumps is noteworthy, having affected 287 catches and 33 stumpings in 91 First-Class matches, with the majority played in India.

Last Updated on January 23, 2024

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