Why Mislead?: BCCI Official Criticizes KL Rahul’s Injury Handling

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The absence of senior India batsman KL Rahul from the upcoming third Test against England has stirred discussions regarding player fitness and transparency within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Rahul’s ongoing recovery from a quadriceps strain which sidelined him for the second Test in Visakhapatnam has prompted scrutiny over the handling of his injury status.

Devdutt Padikkal, a promising left-handed batsman from Karnataka renowned for his stellar performances in the ongoing first-class season, steps in to replace Rahul in the squad. The BCCI, in a press release, confirmed Rahul’s exclusion from the forthcoming Test, citing his 90% match fitness and ongoing rehabilitation supervised by the medical team.

Rahul’s rehabilitation will persist at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, with hopes of making a comeback for the subsequent Tests, as the series remains evenly poised at 1-1.

Earlier, selectors had included Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja in the squad, contingent upon medical clearance from the BCCI. However, Rahul’s non-arrival in Rajkot and Jadeja’s inclusion underscores the uncertainty surrounding the players’ fitness.

The decision to retain Rahul in the provisional squad despite the severity of his injury has raised questions, particularly in light of social media posts showcasing his batting practice. The discrepancy between his injury status and public displays has prompted skepticism among BCCI officials.

This incident isn’t isolated. Another senior player, facing imminent omissions due to poor form, has cited multiple injuries as grounds for withdrawal, a matter not disclosed by the board. Similarly, Ishan Kishan’s lack of communication regarding his availability for a Ranji Trophy match adds to the intrigue.

With Rahul sidelined for the upcoming Tests and Shreyas Iyer’s exclusion, opportunities arise for Sarfaraz Khan in the middle-order. However, the return of Jadeja adds complexity to selection decisions.

Meanwhile, Axar Patel’s strong batting performances and Kuldeep Yadav’s impressive bowling display in Visakhapatnam present selection dilemmas. The wicketkeeper’s slot remains contentious, with KS Bharath facing competition from Dhruv Jurel.

As the third Test approaches, the updated squad reflects these considerations, with players like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and emerging talents like Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill leading the charge.

The situation surrounding Rahul’s injury not only highlights the need for clarity and honesty in injury reporting but also underscores the challenges faced by selectors in maintaining squad balance amidst fluctuating fitness concerns.

India’s squad for the third Test:

Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, Devdutt Padikkal

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