India were lucky enough to end the year 2022 on a victorious note; defeating Bangladesh in the Mirpur Test by 3 wickets and clinching the series 2-0. But going forward, the team has to address multiple issues, one of which is KL Rahul’s form. He may have won the first-ever Test series as an Indian captain but he struggled big on the batting front. He averaged only 14.25 across four Test innings, scoring 22, 23, 10 and 2 in the 2-0 series sweep over Bangladesh.
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Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik believes Rahul’s average in Test cricket, which currently has dropped to 34.26, is unacceptable for an opener in the longest format of the game. Speaking with Cricbuzz, Karthik said,
“I would give K.L. those couple of Test matches, but if things don’t go KL Rahul’s way; the one thing that does go against him is the fact that he has played over 40 Tests and his average is just mid-30s. That is not acceptable for an opener. That is one of the lowest among Indian players for sure, who have played 35 Test matches.”
Team India will now host Australia in a four-match series at home, starting in the month of February. Dinesh Karthik opined that the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be a do-or-die one for Rahul, adding that if the right-hander fails to register big knocks in the four matches, then other openers should be considered by the Indian team.
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“That is something that he needs to definitely work on. That will be on his mind. If he wants to cement his place in the Test team, he needs to get a couple of hundreds against Australia. Otherwise, you can definitely see a change, with Shubman Gill doing so well,” added Karthik.
India’s 2-0 series triumph over Bangladesh helped them solidify their second place in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) standings. India is now only behind Australia in the WTC standings, leaving them in a good position to feature in back-to-back finals if they win either two or three Tests and draw the remaining two games against Australia to ensure they finish above South Africa.
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