Rahul called for Vizag Test

K. L. Rahul will return to the Indian side after a hamstring injury kept him out for over a month.

kl rahul

K. L. Rahul's good showing for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy earned him a spot in the Indian squad.   -  PTI

In this pleasant city of sea and breeze, hills and flowers, the elegant K.L. Rahul will display his wares again for India. The 24-year-old Karnataka opener was drafted into the side after he proved his fitness against Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy duel in Vizianagaram.

READ: >Rahul's interview during Karnataka v Rajasthan

India coach Anil Kumble made his intentions clear when he said, “You would want Rahul to be in your starting line-up. That is why he has been called.” The youngster will come in for Gautam Gambhir in the XI.

Rahul was here playing football with his team-mates apart from participating in a catching session during the Indian training session on Tuesday. He was also attentive when skipper Virat Kohli was engaged in an intense conversation with his men during a ‘strategy session.’

Rahul injured his hamstring in the first Test against New Zealand at Kanpur and missed the following two Tests and the ODI series. He did not figure, too, in the opening Test against England in Rajkot.

However, the smooth-stroking right-hander indicated that he had recovered well when he made 76 and 106 opening the innings against Rajasthan. With his replacement Gambhir struggling in the first Test, the selectors wasted little time in recalling Rahul.

Kumble said, “He has recovered now and as per the protocol we wanted him to go and play a first-class match. He got a 70 odd in the first innings and got a hundred today. It’s good to have him back.”

Since,Vizianagaram is close by, Rahul joined the Indian team in a jiffy; he had already played his part with the willow for Karnataka which is poised for a big win going into the final day.

Rahul, who made his Test debut against Australia in Melbourne, 2014, has 562 runs in nine Tests at 37.46 with three centuries. An organised batsman, he is assured in defence and has a touch of flamboyance when on offence.

The process of Rahul coming back to the Test team also reflects on the good system put forward by Kumble for the return of injured cricketers. The Indian coach is firm about these players needing to prove their fitness again in a first-class contest.

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