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Agarkar on why K L Rahul was dropped for T20 World Cup

Last updated on: May 02, 2024 18:06 IST
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IMAGE: K L Rahul was not picked in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup. Photograph: BCCI

K L Rahul's exclusion from the Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup was a big talking point as the Lucknow Super Giants captain was excluded despite being in good form with the bat in IPL 2024.

Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson got the nod as the two wicketkeepers in India's 15-member squad.

Chief selector Ajit Agarkar revealed that the Karnataka right-hander missed out as they were looking for a wicketkeeper-batter who could play a role with the bat in the middle order and also in the death overs.


"K L (Rahul) is a terrific player, we all know that. The thing is we were looking for is guys who bat at the middle and K L bats at the top (for LSG)," Agarkar said during the media interaction on Thursday.

"We feel Sanju has the ability to come down the order. Rishabh is batting at No 5, that was more the thinking. Two incredible players as well. We felt these two are better equipped at this point in the latter half of the innings."

Agarkar also added that keeping out Rinku Singh was a tough call for the selection committee as they went in with an extra spinner, with the pitches expected to assist the slow bowlers during the World Cup.

"It’s probably the toughest thing we have had to discuss. He (Rinku) has done nothing wrong, not even Shubman Gill for that better. It’s about combinations. There are a couple of wrist spinners included to give Rohit more options. It’s just unfortunate. He's in the reserves, so that tells you how close he came into being in the 15. But at the end of the day you can only pick 15 players in the squad."

India have gone for a spin-heavy attack with four slower bowlers in Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, while picking only three specialist fast bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh. Unlike the IPL, the wickets in the United States and the West Indies could be slow and could assist the spinners.

"I wanted four spinners and three seamers with Hardik being there you get the balance. With two spinners being all rounders, then two attacking spinners gives you balance in spin department as well. Based on opposition composition we can decide what to play with," reasoned India captain Rohit Sharma.

On why India didn't pick an off-spinner, Rohit said that Washington Sundar was not considered as he has not been getting games for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2024, while Axar was preferred ahead of veteran Ravichandran Ashwin.

"We discussed a lot, unfortunately, Washy (Sundar) hasn’t played a lot lately. It was then between Ash (Ashwin) and Axar. It was like that, we thought having 2 left arm spinners -- Ashwin hasn’t played the format lately. Axar was in good form when he played that five match serues against Australia. He has been bowling well and gives us that left handed option in the middle if we want to do something different."

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