Stripped of vice-captaincy duty in the Border-Gavsakar Trophy 2023, an out-of-form KL Rahul will be eager to make amends in the upcoming white-ball series between Steve Smith’s Australia and hosts India. With Team India skipper Rohit Sharma unavailable for the 1st One Day International (ODI) and Shreyas Iyer ruled out of the entire series, versatile batter Rahul might get to feature against Australia in the upcoming three international matches.
Former Indian vice-captain Rahul and opener Ishan Kishan are the only two wicketkeepers India have in its star-studded squad for the Australia series. Taking to Twitter ahead of the series opener between India and Australia, former Indian opener Jaffer shared his predicted playing XI of the host nation. Ex-India cricketer Jaffer preferred Kishan over Rahul as India’s opening batter for the 1st ODI against Australia.
ALSO READ: ‘I said some harsh words to Sachin. He came to me and…’: Pakistan legend regrets ‘sledging’ Tendulkar
Sharing his India XI for the 1st ODI, Jaffer named Shubman Gill and Kishan as the Indian openers for the upcoming match against Australia. With Virat Kohli as the No.3 batter, Jaffer slotted Suryakumar Yadav and Rahul in the Indian middle-order. The former Indian batter also named Washington Sundar and Ravindra Jadeja as India’s two all-rounder options for the 1st ODI. The Ranji legend observed that Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj will lead India’s bowling attack in the 1st ODI.
Team India suffered a huge blow ahead of the series opener against Australia as middle-order batter Iyer is ruled out of the three-game ODI series. The premier batter had also missed a major portion of the Test series that India won 2-1 to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
With India skipper Rohit set to miss the 1st ODI due to family commitments, his deputy Pandya will lead the hosts in the series opener against Australia. The curtain-raiser of the Australia series will be Pandya’s first appearance as the captain of the Indian team in the 50-over format.
Pandya had earlier replaced Rahul as India’s vice-captain in the limited-overs format. White-ball maverick Pandya has played 71 ODIs and 87 T20Is for India. The designated vice-captain will only lead India in the 1st ODI as skipper Rohit will make his return to the side for the series decider. The 1st ODI of the three-match series will be contested at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.