Team India Trust KL Rahul as Wicketkeeper for First Test Against South Africa

Centurion: KL Rahul is set to don the gloves for India in the upcoming Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion. The decision was confirmed by head coach Rahul Dravid, who expressed enthusiasm about Rahul embracing the challenge.

Rahul had previously expressed his openness to taking on new roles, and Dravid revealed that the player was eager to explore wicketkeeping in Test matches. With Ishan Kishan unavailable, the choice between Rahul and KS Bharat was apparent. Despite Bharat being an alternative, the team management favoured Rahul due to his consistent performance as India’s primary ODI keeper and his capability as a batter.

Dravid acknowledged that keeping in Tests is a new venture for Rahul, but highlighted his preparation over the past few months. The coach also hinted at limited spin bowling in the first Test, easing Rahul into the role. The decision to have Rahul as the keeper-batter provides India the flexibility to include an extra batsman in the XI, with both Rahul and Shreyas Iyer likely to feature.

Discussing the team’s strategy, Dravid emphasized the balance and depth in the bowling department. The forecast of rain in the initial days at Centurion did not deter Dravid’s confidence, as he believes the squad has the versatility to adapt to various conditions. Reflecting on India’s past struggles in South Africa, Dravid stressed the importance of minimizing damage during challenging sessions to stay competitive in the series.

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