Cricket-Rahul can play himself into World Cup spot with IPL heroics, says Uthappa

  • Cricket
  • Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - First Test - India v England - Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, India - January 28, 2024 India's KL Rahul in action REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo

(Reuters) - Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul will be among the front-runners for the wicketkeeper-batsman role in India's Twenty20 World Cup squad if he can maintain his recent Indian Premier League (IPL) form, former batsman Robin Uthappa said.

Rahul followed up scores of 33, 39 and 39 with a blistering 53-ball 82 that included nine fours and three sixes to help his side to an eight-wicket win over defending champions Chennai Super Kings on Friday.

As Indian selectors finalise a squad for the World Cup in the United States and West Indies in June, Rahul has emerged as an option alongside Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson despite not playing a T20 international since Nov. 10, 2022.

"Over the last couple of weeks, I was thinking, I don't think he's going to figure in the World Cup squad, but if he continues to bat the way he is batting now he'll find himself a spot," 2007 T20 World Cup winner Uthappa said on JioCinema.

"Whether it's as a reserve opener and wicketkeeper, that's a dual role he can fulfil.

"He just makes batting look so beautiful. He's one of those guys who makes it for a viewer, a delightful experience to watch cricket, an easy experience, and just all the other shots that he plays."

Former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist said before the match that there would be a lot of talk about World Cup selections in the coming weeks but it would be performances on the pitch that ultimately count.

"The narrative has to get away from who's going on the World Cup," Gilchrist told Cricbuzz.

"How do they get into the World cup? He (Rahul) has got to work out like every other player in this tournament. You'll be on the plane if you're in the narrative of selecting."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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