"Do We Actually Need KL Rahul?": Ex-New Zealand Cricketer's Big Statement
Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris says with KL Rahul being sidelined due to an injury, an opportunity has been presented to the youngsters to prove themselves.
India batter KL Rahul is going through rough phase after suffering an injury and then testing positive for COVID-19. According to former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris, KL Rahul's absence has given golden opportunities to players like Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, etc, and now selectors would be thinking "do they actually need" the star batter. Rahul was named in the T20I squad for the series against West Indies but, he was ruled out after testing COVID-19 positive days ahead of the series.
"It's a different mindset for players because they don't want to be out and they don't want to be giving other players opportunities. I know India has a very good culture within its group, so it doesn't mind allowing other players opportunities all the time. I know as a player myself, you never wanted to give somebody else a chance to take your spot," said Scott Styris on SPORTS18's show SPORTS OVER THE TOP.
"So with the fact that he's out injured and he's away from the team at the moment, it just means that other players are able to do what Suryakumar is doing, what Rishabh Pant is doing, getting in there, taking the chance scoring runs and really posing the selectors some questions saying, do we actually need KL Rahul? Is he going to be in good form when he comes back? He has missed a lot of cricket, a lot of question marks now present themselves just because he's been able to give other players that opportunity," he added.
Ahead of testing COVID-19 positive, Rahul had suffered an injury before the T20I series against South Africa, and he did not feature in the five-match series.
Last week, Rahul had issued a lengthy statement, saying testing positive for COVID-19 has pushed his return to the international arena "back by a couple of weeks", but he aims to recover as quickly as possible and be available for selection. Taking to Twitter, Rahul wrote: "Hey guys, I wanted to clarify a couple of things about my health and fitness. My surgery in June was successful and I had begun training with the hope of returning to national duty for the team's tour of the West Indies. Unfortunately, as I was nearing a return to full fitness, I tested positive for COVID-19."
"This naturally pushes things back by a couple of weeks, but I aim to recover as quickly as possible, and be available for selection as soon as I can. To represent the national team is the highest honour, and I cannot wait to get out there back in blue," he added.
India also announced squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, beginning August 18. Shikhar Dhawan will be leading the side while Deepak Chahar has made a comeback after recovering from an injury.