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Will Rahul replace Rahane for 2nd ODI?

Last updated on: September 19, 2017 09:34 IST

Will India drop 'Jinx' and bring in Rahul, asks Harish Kotian.
Play Selector and pick the Indian team for Thursday's second ODI in Kolkata.

IMAGE: K L Rahul, left, with Coach Ravi Shastri. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

After a convincing victory in the series opener in Chennai, a confident India will look to mantaining the same form in the second One Day International against Australia in Kolkata on Thursday, September 21.

India have to address a few areas of concern. The top order caved in easily before the lower order again came to the rescue.

 

Ajinkya 'Jinx' Rahane looked out of sorts at the top of the order. Manish Pandey failed to impress at No 4, a position which is still up for grabs with K L Rahul waiting on the sidelines.

India will do well to bring in Rahul, who opens the innings in Tests, at the top of the order while giving his Karnataka team-mate Pandey a couple of chances to prove himself in the middle.

Since making his ODI debut in 2011, 'Jinx' hasn't found a permanent slot in the side. Despite four half-centuries in a row in the West Indies, he could be dropped after his poor scores since.

Rahul seems to have Captain Virat Kohli and Coach Ravi Shastri's backing and is looked as a player for the future.

After starting his ODI career with a century on debut, against Zimbabwe in 2016, the youngster has struggled to maintain the momentum in the ODIs.

In the Sri Lanka series, he failed to come to grips against the spinners and failed thrice in a row when batting in the middle order.

'KL (Rahul) is an outstanding talent. He has proved himself in all formats. And he is someone who needs to be backed because we believe that he has the ability,' Kohli had said of his Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mate.

'Once he gets his role done, he will start winning us games. We are very sure of that,' Kohli added on the eve of the first ODI.

All-rounders Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya have cemented their positions in the lower middle order with contributions with both bat and ball.

With Australia struggling against spin in the first game, India may include Ravindra Jadeja, which will boost the lower order batting and take some burden off Mahendra Singh Dhoni who has again and again rescued India from the midst of chaos.

The two young wrist spinners -- Kuldeep Yadav (2/33) and Yuzvendra Chahal (3/30) -- ran through Australia's middle and lower order and Jadeja's inclusion will strengthen India's bowling line-up.

Both fast bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, performed admirably and it will be tough to drop them unless Kohli and Shastri want to give Mohammed Shami/Umesh Yadav some time in the middle.

Teams don't usually tinker with a winning combination, but don't rule out Kohli and Shastri making a change or two.

Do you think India should retain the same team? Or should Rahul come in for Rahane?

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Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
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