'KL Rahul's selection to Indian Test side is not justified,' says Sanjay Manjrekar

·3-min read

KL Rahul was ousted from the Test squad earlier this year [kxip.in]
KL Rahul was ousted from the Test squad earlier this year [kxip.in]

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has said that the selection of KL Rahul in the Indian Test squad based on his exploits in the ongoing Indian Premier League is not justified. He pointed out that such selections will demotivate the players taking part in tournaments like the Ranji Trophy.

The Indian squads which will travel to Australia for Tests, ODIs and T20Is later this year were announced on Monday. The comments of the cricketer-turned-commentator came on the back of this announcement.

“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 the player succeeds or fails is irrelevant, such selections massively demotivate Ranji players,” Manjrekar tweeted.

India's full Test squad to Australia

When one of the Twitter users pointed out that KL Rahul has a decent average across all the three formats, Manjrekar clarified that his performances in the last five Test series were below par. He added that Rahul should feel lucky to get a recall based on performance in white-ball cricket.

“I say very lucky to get a recall based on IPL & white ball performance. But now let’s just hope he makes the most of this chance. Good luck to him!”

KL Rahul hasn't had success in Test matches recently

If we leave out the one-off Test match that India played against Afghanistan, KL Rahul has aggregated just 524 runs in 26 innings at an average of 20.96 in the last five Test series. This includes one century against England, which is the only fifty-plus score that he has managed during this period.

The 28-year-old was later dropped from the Indian Test team for their tour to New Zealand earlier this year.

KL Rahul, however, has been in blistering form in the ongoing IPL 2020. The skipper of the Kings XI Punjab side is on the top of the batting charts with 595 runs from 12 matches at an average of close to 60 and a strike rate of 132.22.

Check out the Indian ODI squad here

The Karnataka batsman has also been appointed as the vice-captain of both the ODI and T20I teams in the absence of Rohit Sharma on the back of the form and leadership skills that he has displayed.

Check out the Indian T20I squad here

The Australia tour will kick-off with ODIs in late November, which will be followed by T20I and Test matches.