In a recent development, former Indian cricket star Sunil Gavaskar has cast doubts on the inclusion of star player KL Rahul in the upcoming ODI World Cup, which is scheduled to be held on home turf. Rahul, who is presently sidelined due to a thigh injury, is set to miss the initial two matches of the Asia Cup due to a minor niggle. This situation has prompted India to consider Ishan Kishan as a potential wicketkeeper for the Asia Cup fixture against Pakistan. Gavaskar has questioned the selectors' decision to include Rahul in the Asia Cup squad, especially given his recent lack of match practice.
In a conversation with India Today, Gavaskar expressed curiosity about how the selectors assessed KL Rahul's physical condition and performance, particularly in light of his recent absence from any matches..
"You know, mostly, I think the fact that he's not gone is possibly because of the fact that he wants treatment to be continued at the heads of the same physios who have been treating him at the NCA.
But then, yes, I think, it's a tricky situation because if he's not playing any game before the fifth of September, how do you assess his situation?"
He added that, "Because the perspectives about the match weaknesses is another thing. So, I think it's gonna be a tough call for the selection committee. But maybe, you might get the answer in the first two matches itself. In which case, you might have to look beyond Rahul, but that's gonna be sad, but that's the reality."
Moreover, Gavaskar emphasized that it would be a significant decision for the selectors, but he believes they may need to explore alternatives to Rahul. He expressed the possibility of finding answers in the first two matches of the Asia Cup, which could determine whether they should look beyond Rahul.
"You can't take chances with him. I'm all for taking him because of the fact that he's always been a classy player. But if it is not going to be seen in a match situation, before the World Cup squad is announced, I think it is going to be tough for him to be in the World Cup squad."
Despite his admiration for Rahul's cricketing prowess, Gavaskar stressed the importance of seeing him perform in a match scenario before finalizing the World Cup squad. The cricketing legend acknowledged the difficult reality that taking chances with Rahul's fitness might not be feasible.