KL Rahul to join Men in Blue for New Zealand T20I series
In latest news, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and attacking opener KL Rahul finally breathe a sigh of relief on Thursday as the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that operates the BCCI decided to lift the suspension which was imposed on duo (Rahul and Pandya) over the subject of controversial presence on a TV show of late.
Both the cricketers were sent back home from Australia following the controversy on filmmaker Karan Johar’s show ‘Koffee With Karan’ sparked a massive backlash which also put their professions in serious trouble. They said something which they were not supposed to say and now that they regret for uttering such infamous things on the show.
Nonetheless, the major hic-cups for both of them is over now. Hardik Pandya was instructed to jet off to New Zealand as soon as the suspension was withdrawn to participate in the ongoing ODI series. Hardik has already been in and out of action for some months owing to injury issues. He is an significant part of team plans in the build-up to the upcoming World Cup and missing more games would certainly distract his preparation for the world cup tourney which is all set to begin on May 30.
Hardik could spice it up in the third ODI against New Zealand and KL Rahul, on the contrary, will play for India ‘A’ against the visiting England Lions in the last three ODIs before jetting off to New Zealand for the three-T20I series, according to a report in The Times of India.
Budding star Shubman Gill and all-rounder Vijay Shankar were chosen as replacements for Rahul and Pandya and while Shankar made his ODI debut in Australia and played the first game against the Kiwis, Shubman is still warming the bench.
KL Rahul could replace Virat Kohli in the three-match T20I series. Rahul boasts a pretty good record in the truncated version of the game as he scored two centuries in T20Is. He averages over 43 and possesses a healthy strike rate of 148.38. There is a possibility that he could be chosen in the playing XI since captain Virat Kohli has been given the rest for the series. Kohli will also miss the last two ODIs against the Kiwis, which means it is a good opportunity for Shubman to showcase his potential to play as an opener.
India started off the tour with a good start, leading the five-match series 1-0 after their 8-wicket win (D/L method) in Napier. The 2nd ODI fixture will be played at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.