KL Rahul says Team is confused to decide the batter at No.5

KL Rahul hints Team is confused to decide the batter at No.5

KL Rahul has suggested that India are likely towards playing five bowlers in the Boxing Day Test in Centurion, leaving them with a “very, very difficult decision” over which batter to play at No. 5. While addressing a press conference on Friday, Rahul, vice-captain in the absence of Rohit Sharma, was asked whether it would be hard for India to manage the workloads of their bowlers in case they only played a four-man attack.

India have played five specialist bowlers in each of their last 15 Tests, but with the allrounder Ravindra Jadeja injured and out of the tour, it will be a tougher decision to stick with that combination in South Africa. Nonetheless, Rahul’s response hinted that five bowlers remains India’s preferred option.

With a five-bowler combination leaving room only for five batters, it makes sense that Ajinkya Rahane – who averages 19.57 in 12 Tests this year – will be locked in a three-way tussle for the No. 5 slot along with Shreyas Iyer, who recently made a century on Test debut against New Zealand in Kanpur, and Hanuma Vihari, who warmed up for this series with three back-to-back fifties during India A’s shadow tour of South Africa.

It’s a tough decision – Rahul on who to pick for No.5 Batter position

“Look, it is a very, very difficult decision to make, obviously,” Rahul said. “Ajinkya has been a very important part of our Test team and has played very, very crucial knocks in his career. The last 15-18 months, if I can think back, his knock in Melbourne was really really crucial; it helped us win a Test match. That partnership with [Cheteshwar] Pujara at Lord’s in the second innings where he got a fifty was really important, and that ended up in us winning the Test match. So he’s been a key player for us in the middle order, and he’s a very, very strong player.

“Shreyas obviously has taken his chances. He played a brilliant knock in Kanpur, got a hundred; so he’s very exciting. And Hanuma has done the same for us, so yeah, it’s a tough decision. But we’ll start having a chat today or tomorrow, and you’ll get to know [the No. 5] in a couple of days’ time.”

“I haven’t played a lot of games here in South Africa, but from my experience, I think sometimes the pitches can be a little bit challenging because of the tennis-ball bounce,” he said. “We’ve played in Australia where the pitches are fast and bouncy, but here it can be a bit spongy in the first couple of days, and then it starts to quicken up. So when I played last time, each time the wicket was a bit difficult, and you had to understand and adjust according to that, so that becomes a huge challenge for both batters and bowlers.”

 

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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